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Full text of "Memoirs of Monsieur d'Artagnan. Now for the first time translated into English"

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■'■■ ■■ ' /< 







In accordance with many suggestions, I hâve, in 
the second volume of thèse " Memoirs " ventured to 
compress certain portions of the text which deal 
with matters quite extraneous to the career of 
M. d'Artagnan, but the book has not been bowd- 
lerised in any way whatever. The reader will find 
the last section of this volume, which describes 
D'Artagnan's adventures in London, especially worthy 
of his attention. The whole of it, however, is full 
of interest, and should it fail to meet with the 
flattering réception accorded to its predecessor, the 
fault will lie rather with the translator than with 
the work itself. 





/><l^f^ EACE having been made in the way I hâve 
described, a number of flatterers, who, on 
account of the great deeds M. le Prince 
had performed in the war, lauded everything 
else he did to the skies (as if his good 
points in this respect could wipe out ail the 
bad ones he might possess), by so doing made 
him so vain that niany people found difficulty in putting 
up with him. 

The Cardinal, especially, could not reconcile himself 
to the airs with which he began to treat him. His 
Eminence, perceiving that he wanted to sell the help 
he had just given him against the Parisians at such a 
price that there would be no further favours he could 
dare to refuse him, made complaint of this to the Queen, 
who, for her part, was not too well pleased at a number 
of things which M. le Prince was every day asking for 
his dependents. M. le Prince had even wanted her 
Majesty to give the right of entry to her councils to 
the Prince de Conti, a proof that, when the latter had 
vol.. II 1 


gone to ofîer his services to the Parlement, the matter 
had either been arranged between the two brothers, or, 
at ail events, that they had since joined forces together, 
so as to make themselves more redoubtable. This 
faveur, as well as a number of others v^^hich he exacted 
for the Duc de Longueville, v^ho had married his 
sister, very much displeased the Queen. It was her 
opinion that the revolt, with which the Prince de Conti 
and M. le Prince had associated themselves, deserved 
nothing less than rewards. Indeed this was ail they 
might hâve hoped for, had they shown their fidelity 
instead of their rebelliousness. Anyhow, as at Court 
one looks just as pleasant when one wants to ruin a 
person, as when one intends to do him good, not only 
did the Cardinal conceal his resentment under the 
guise of civility and confidence, but also under that 
of a cordiality as great as might ever exist between 
two friends. He invited M. le Prince to come and 
feast with him four or five times in less than a month, 
and as this prince loved dissipation and plunged freely 
into it of his own accord, when once he was at it, 
his Eminence pretended to drink, so as to excite him 
to do the same. This minister knew that it was on 
occasions of this kind that a man loses control over 
himself, and that thus he might get his secret out of 
him without his noticing it. He succeeded none too 
badly. M. le Prince, who suspected nothing, having 
partaken pretty freely of wine, asked him in the présence 
of the Duc d'Orléans, who was at this banquet, if 
without his assistance the Parisians would not hâve 
terrified him a good deal. Were he to speak the truth, 
he must own to having trembled more than once on 
the day of the barricades, or at least to having turned 


pale; so much so, that if one had not known the cause, 
one could not hâve failed to think that some accident 
had happened to him ! 

He made, besides, other jokes, stronger even than 
this, which causing the minister to fear that, if he 
allowed himself to be attacked on such doubtful ground, 
the prince would not be long in going even further, 
he spoke of it to the Queen as being the only person 
able to devise a remedy. The Queen decided not 
to neglect his advice. She observed with pain that 
M. le Prince, far from being satisfied with the faveurs 
which he daily received from her Majesty, had again 
started his old claims as to the Admiralty. This he 
haughtily demanded again as something belonging to 
him by right, and, on the Cardinal answering that, 
even were this office his property, the recompenses he 
had already received should make him abandon his 
pretensions, he dared to tell him straight out that the 
services he had just rendered spoke so much in his 
favour that, if there was one of the two who could be 
called ungrateful, such a term was much more applicable 
to the one than the other. 

Such haughty behaviour settled the matter of causing 
his Eminence to nurture some extraordinary schemes 
against him. As he was from a country where there 
is a proverb which says, 

** passato pericolo il gabbato del santo," 

that is, in good French, that "One thinks no longer 
of the saint to whom one has vowed oneself, the 
minute there seems no further use for him," he resolved 
on his ruin, desiring to lower him to such a point as to 
make him entirely dépendent on his own will. The 

I — 2 


Queen who began to place such confidence in this 
minister that she, so to speak, "savv only with his eyes," 
soon shared his ideas. The ruin of M. le Prince was 
sworn between the two, and never had any hatred been 
seen to follow so quickly on trust; for, just as much as 
before both had relied upon this prince, so did they now 
think it a matter of their own safety to place him 
in a condition in which he could do them no harm. 
Perhaps their resentment would only hâve fallen upon 
him, if they had not been afraid that his relatives and 
friends would take his part, when they should perceive 
him in misfortune; but I must not say "perhaps"; 
this would actually hâve happened, at least there was 
every appearance of it. Indeed there was no one who 
did not know that the peace which had been made 
with the Parisians was not so well assured as not to be 
ripe for being broken at every moment and, as it was 
necessary to take away from them the leaders whom 
they might hâve made use of to recommence their 
agitation with, it was not a bad move for the Council 
to hâve decreed the arrest of the Prince de Conti 
and the Duc de Longueville at the same time as the 
Prince de Condé was arrested. 

The governorships which both held, which were in 
the neighbourhood of Paris, further hastened their ruin. 
One was Governor of Champagne and Brie, and the 
other of the richest province of the whole kingdom, 
I mean Normandy, a province which was the more to 
be feared from being oppressed with a thousand taxes, 
and in conséquence there was reason for fearing that 
the inhabitants, who loudly complained of the présent 
government, would avail themselves of the first oppor- 
tunity to show their discontent. Not that thèse two 


governors were personally much to be dreaded ; one 
was a man much to be despised as a mère individual, 
cxcept for his birth, and on account of the alliance he 
had contracted with two princesses of the blood : he 
had no sensé, and although the other did not resemble 
him in this respect, but, on the contrary, had a good 
deal, as he had been brought up for the church, it 
was only the priests who were on his side. Not one 
person of rank had thought of paying him court, but 
the Queen and her minister were afraid, and with much 
reason, that the friends and parasites of the Prince de 
Condé, who were as numerous as those of his brother 
were few, would soon rally to him, when they should 
perceive his fall, and further, that his rank of prince of 
the blood (which takes the place of worth among 
people of quality) would produce its effect when least 
expected. Accordingly, they thought that, to guard 
themselves against ail this, and against a quantity of 
other things, which I suppress, because one can easily 
picture them to oneself, it was urgent that his ruin 
should be sworn at the same time as that of his 
brother and his brother-in-law. 

As it was difficult enough for a matter of such consé- 
quence, and one which required that several people 
should be in the secret, to be carried out with certainty, 
that is to say, without those against whom it was aimed 
becoming aware of it, the Court deemed itself obliged to 
win over some members of the Parlement, so that they 
might restrain the people when the blow fell. As a 
rule this body was ready enough to wish harm to M. le 
Prince, because the side he had taken against it to 
support the wishes of the Cardinal had made him for- 
fait the esteem and friendship which his great deeds 


might have won for him. Nevertheless, among its 
members, as among the great number of people of 
which it was composed, there were some greatly 
attached to his person, and who thought much less of 
the public weal than of their own private interests. 
The Président de Maisons, who was of the number, no 
sooner got wind of what was going on than he con- 
fided it to M. le Prince. The Prince de Condé who, 
besides not imagining that the Cardinal would sully him- 
self with such great ingratitude to him, thought enough 
of the réputation of himself and of his friends to 
imagine that he would never undertake a stroke of this 
kind without thinking twice over it, made reply to 
this magistrate, that he knew not whence this warning 
came, but he was much deceived if it was not abso- 
lutely false. Doubtless it had been given him only to 
cause him to take some false step from stupid credulity: 
but as, thanks to God, he had sensé to discern truth 
from falsehood, he would take good care not to fall 
into the trap so clumsily set for him. He spoke just 
what he thought, and he would have even entertained 
the idea (had not this magistrate been strongly attached 
to his interests) that he was only speaking as he did to 
be the first to hasten his fall, so firmly was he per- 
suaded that it could not be true, that the Cardinal 
would dare to think of such a stroke as this. Be this 
as it may, having neglected to take the précautions 
which this président advised, he continued to go on in 
the same way and was not long before repenting of so 

The King had returned to Paris, after having granted 
peace to the Parisians, and as it is much more difficult 
to hide one's faults from those on the look-out for them, 


vvhen one is near, than when one is far away, ail he 
Court and ail Paris retained so little esteem for his 
Eminence on account of a hundred things he was 
observed to do, that it was only his servants or his 
private parasites who kept quiet about it. Further, 
his Word was worth as little as if there had been dis- 
honour in keeping it. What he promised to-day he 
forgot to-morrow ; for some sordid pièce of self-interest 
he would break with his best friend, and he had become 
so used to doing this, that it was constantly happening 
to him. The principal cause of the hatred M. le 
Prince bore him was that, after the reconciliation 
with the Parisians had been effected, he had refused 
him the governorship of Pont de l'Arche for his brother- 
in-law. His Eminence had given as a reason that the 
honour and interest of the State required that favours 
should not be showered upon a rebel such as he ; not 
only would it be setting a bad example, but further, it 
would make an evil impression upon the populace. 
Besides, even had the Duc de Longueville been a man 
who had remained faithful, it would not be politic to 
make him so powerful. Already he possessed the 
greatest number of the ports in Normandy, and to 
give him this one would be to want to make him a 
sort of king of the whole province. It was there that 
the greater part of his estâtes lay, and as he raised 
from it a number of gentlemen and persons of great 
distinction, it was quite clearthat one could not further 
increase his authority without grave danger. M. de 
Matignon, a near relative of this prince, who was 
lieutenant-general of the province, served as another 
pretext for the minister to support his contention with. 
He said, with référence to him, that it was another 


cause of the duc's power being increased. This, indeed, 
might hâve had some sensé, had the Comte de Matig- 
non been a man like anyone else, but his was such a 
feeble intelligence, that ail the prestige he might obtain 
from the support of the prince and his own rank was 
destroyed by the little he himself personally possessed. 
He never said anything which was not pitiable, and it 
was but a short time before that he had maintained 
in very good company, that he had never partaken of 
such good olive-oil as that which is made in Poitou. 
Someone answered him that none was made there, and 
that it must hâve corne from Provence or Languedoc. 
However, he again repeated what he had before said 
and maintained that quite as much was made there as 
in the two provinces just mentioned, and that he him- 
self had seen the walnut-trees from which it came ; 
they yielded, he continued, as good oil as he had ever 
tasted in Italy or anywhere else, and there was nothing 
to be said against his statement, since he spoke not 
from hearsay, but from the testimony of his own eyes. 
Nobody would contradict him further, and, satisfying 
themselves with admiring his great cleverness, they 
agreed to what he wanted, that is to say, that the 
walnut-trees of Poitou produced the best olive-oil in 
the world. 

Yet this gentleman was from the district known as 
the clever district, and where, indeed, intellects are a 
good deal more subtle than in any other; however, if 
there are some which deserve this reptuation, there 
are as well others just as dull as can be found any- 
where. It even seems at présent as if whatever part 
of the country the Matignons bail from (for formerîy 
they lived in Brittany, since it is there that the family 


arose) makes an effort to distinguish itself from other 
parts by the simplicity, not to call it the stupidity, 
which is to be observed there. It is of thèse people 
that it is commonly said that, when they speak of their 
seigneur, they déclare he is just as great as the King, 
or at least very nearly so; and, indeed, I hâve heard 
a gentleman who was not a man to amuse himself 
with fairy-tales sa}' that, being one day at M. de 
Matignon's, his peasants looked upon his praying to 
God, just as they themselves did, as being something 
worthy of admiration. This gentleman repeated this 
to the curé so that he might reprove them, for they 
thought him just as great as the King, or very near: 
they also thought that he was humbling himself a good 
deal to do just as they did, when he bowed himself 
before God. But this curé, either because he shared 
their obtuseness, although that is unlikely, or because 
he was afraid of displeasing his seigneur by disabusing 
thèse people of the great estimation they had of him, 
contented himself with telling them that, if the comte 
abased himself so much as to bow the knee to God, it 
was because he wished to set them a good example: 
this was very edifying in such a great lord as he, and 
they must take good care to imitate him. 

However, to return to my subject. The Cardinal, 
who was trying to render M. le Prince odious to ail 
the populace, was delighted at his asking him for the 
governorship of Pont de l'Arche for his brother-in- 
law. For, as he was afraid that, if he arrested him, 
he would be accused of ingratitude, he looked upon 
it as being a thing very lucky for himself that he 
should thus give him a reason for so doing, without 
his being obliged to resort to any pretext. He was 


aware that the one course must break down sooner or 
later, even should he be clever enough to well disguise 
it, whereas the other would impress itself the more 
on his mind as he would hâve reason on his side. 
Such a stroke as this could not be the work of one 
day ; for although it was but a question of demanding 
his sword, not a very diffîcult thing, since he came 
to the King's every day, as he must not be taken 
alone because of what might resuit, it was not only 
necessary to try and collect ail the three together, 
but to further prépare people's minds to receive such 
a great event without taking any part in it. M. le 
Prince had himself already prepared them, when he 
had espoused the cause of the Cardinal against the 
people, His troops also had admirably seconded him 
in this by pillaging and ravaging the country-side 
as they had done. Meanwhile, as, in spite of the 
warning of the Président de Maisons, this prince as yet 
suspected nothing, instead of changing his behaviour, 
which might hâve destroyed the suspicions entertained 
as to his fidelity, he began to plot in the province of 
Guyenne to get himself given the governorship. He 
would much bave liked to exchange it for that of 
Burgundy which he held; for, beside its being much 
more important both in revenue and in a thousand 
other things unnecessary to specify (since they are 
self-evident) it was besides a very convenient one 
for him. Indeed, he already had another the other 
side of the Loire — that of Berri. But now, although 
one must not be sure that he as yet entertained 
those great plans which he has since developed, as it 
is a natural thing for everyone to wish to get on, he 
made use of an opportunity which seemed to him a 


favourable one to obtain both thèse governorships for 

The Duc d'Espernon, who had inherited from his 
father the characteristic of being very proud, ill-used 
the Bordelais, vvhose governor he was, a good deal. 
He had a perfect understanding with the Cardinal, 
who had an idea of marrying one of his nièces to the 
Duc de Candale, his only son ; for this reason, the 
governor in question lent his aid as much as he 
could in the territory he governed, to help raise new 
taxes, with which his Eminence every day loaded the 
people more and more. Bordeaux, which is the capital 
of this province, and which took a great lead in it as 
capitals usually do with regard to everything, did not 
dare express ail it thought. Château Trompette, which 
is as it were the citadel of that town, stopped this ; but 
eventually, the natural disposition of the people to 
revolts being augmented by the sternness of their 
governor and the exactions of the tax-collectors, they 
ail of a sudden rose against him. The Marquis de 
Sauveboeuf, a gentleman of the vicinity, who had a 
private cause for complaint against the Duc d'Espernon, 
as well as against the Court, by which he had been a 
good deal ill-used, placed himself at their head. They 
armed some vessels so as to become masters of the 
Garonne, and the revolt having every moment gathered 
strength from the hatred they bore their governor, 
they laid siège to Château Trompette. 

At that time I was already a lieutenant in the Guards, 
a circumstance which entailed my mounting guard, 
which was a more important thing than it is to-day, 
the reason being that, thanks to God, everything is 
now, as it should be, in a state of submission to its 


King, instead of which, at that time, his person was 
not in great safety on account of the little respect left 
in the minds of many people. Consequently, every- 
thing depended on the vigilance and fîdelity of those 
who were guarding him, and ail the posts which had 
anything to do with this were valued in the highest 
degree possible, Wherefore M. le Cardinal was very 
friendly towards us, while we were thus employed, so 
that, should anyone make any attempt to bribe us, we 
might not fail to let him know. .Meanwhile, as I 
seemed to him to be even more wanted in that part of 
the country than at Paris, he sent me post-haste to 
Broiiage to find the Comte d'Augnon, who was governor 
there. I gave him orders from the King to equip ships 
for sea with the utmost diligence, and to succour the 
Duc d'Espernon. This concerned him more than 
anyone else, because he was vice-admiral, a position 
which was not then of the importance it is to-day, 
but which has since become a very great one. For 
instance, when it was proposed to give it some time 
after to the Comte d'Etrées (who now holds it), he 
refused to accept it, from the fear that it might stop 
him from one day becoming a Maréchal of France. 
He v/as already a lieutenant-general, and he thought 
that, being as far advanced as he was, it would turn 
out an obstacle to his fortunes ; accordingly, M. Colbert 
had to promise him, after the King had done so, that 
this post should in no way préjudice his claims, and it 
was only upon that condition that he accepted it. 

The orders I had for the Comte d'Augnon were not 
only by word of mouth, but set down in writing 
besides, However, M. le Prince, who was well pleased 
to embarrass the Cardinal, had already been before- 


hand with him, so as to oblige him to hâve recourse to 
himself to pacify the province and thus to get it placed 
in his hands. He had secretly sent one of his gentlemen 
to the comte, and they had agreed together that, 
instead of acting with the haste enjoined, he should do 
everything in such a slow way as to wreck the plans of 
the Court. This I clearly perceived, directly I arrived 
at the governor's. He discovered a thousand diffi- 
culties about whatever I might propose to him, and on 
my clearing ail of them away, as far as good sensé 
would allow me to do, although I understood nothing 
about naval affairs, which were under discussion in 
this interview, I soon saw that he was behaving with a 
remissness which could only be very suspicious, instead 
of with that earnestness which one would naturally 
hâve expected from a good servant of the King. But 
now, my mission being finished, and having nothing 
more to do with him, I had no sooner described what 
I believed myself to hâve discovered to his Eminence 
than I saw two deputies of Bordeaux arriving at his 
house. The Duc D'Espernon had, by order of the 
Court, granted them a passport to come and see him. 
Both thèse deputies were mortal enemies of the 
governor, which had he been master of the situation, 
would hâve been the cause of his refusing it to them. 
The principal object of their deputation was to lodge 
complaints against him. Amongst other things, they 
accused him of having treated them like a tyrant, and, 
although they did not dare to say that they would 
continue to be rebellious, unless M. le Prince was 
appointed governor in his stead, they caused it to be 
pretty well understood, by saying that their province 
would never willingly be obedient to authority until a 


prince of the blood should be at its head. They said 
also that, were M. d'Espernon not removed, some dis- 
content would always linger in some place or other, 
which could only hâve bad results, so much so that the 
interest of the Court as well as their own lay in not 
refusing them this satisfaction. Meanwhile, M. le 
Prince was secretly doing ail he could to be chosen for 
the post, while the Comte d'Augnon, according to his 
advice, took such a long time to put to sea, that 
Château Trompette found itself in extremities before 
he was in a condition to relieve it ; indeed, this fortress 
surrendered before he had confronted the enemy. The 
Bordelais demolished it without waiting a moment's 
time, although they were treating with the Court. 
They acted with such speed, because they thought that, 
this being done, it would be easier for them to 
prevent its reconstruction, than it would be to obtain 
its démolition, were it left standing. This was a daring 
stroke ; but, as the weakness of the government allowed 
it, it did not prevent their obtaining the greater part of 
what they asked for. They got rid of their governor, 
and, M. le Prince being installed in his place, the Duc 
d'Espernon went some time after to take up his own 
governorship in Burgundy. Folks were no more con- 
tented there than they had been in Guyenne. The 
inhabitants, who for a long-time had been ruled by the 
first prince of the blood, only viewed the change with 
regret. M. de Tavannes, lieutenant-general of the pro- 
vince, who also deemed it an honour to take the orders 
of the Prince de Condé, was no more pleased than other 
people. M. le Prince again secretly fomented thèse 
feelings of discontent, so that, although he had no 
longer any right to give orders in this province, he 


yet rei'f^ned there just as absolutely as he had ever 

That year he had not joined the army. The 
Comte d'Harcourt, who, as I hâve elsewhere said, 
had distinguished himself in a number of encounters, 
had taken his place in Flanders. He began by laying 
siège to Cambrai, but the enemy having reheved it before 
his Hnes were finished, he could no longer continue his 
undertaking. He marched in another direction, a cir- 
cumstance which in some measure obscured the glory 
which he had gained by a number of great successes. 
M. le Prince, who had wanted to stay in the Cabinet, 
where he began to enjoy himself a good deal more than 
with the army, was delighted at what had happened, 
which seemed likely to further enhance his own 
réputation, although it was already at the highest 
point. The more the Comte d'Harcourt passed for 
a great captain, the more reason was there for praising 
him, for he had always laid his plans so well that such a 
thing had never occurred to him except once at Lerida. 
The Cardinal, who disliked his triumph, very nearly 
died of grief. In the meantime, as he was clever and 
crafty, he tried to make M. le Prince lose not only the 
réputation which ail this had given him, but further, 
to make ail the blâme for it fall upon his shoulders. 
He secretly had the rumour spread that he had refused 
to take the command of the army, and that, had he 
been with it, nothing would hâve happened that year. 
Besides this, thèse rumours, added to the refusai which 
his Eminence had just given him of the governorship 
of Pont de l'Arche, threw M. le Prince into such a 
great passion against him, that he said a number of 
things to him which did not appear seemly, coming 


from the mouth of a prince of his rank. For, as 
he was more fit to strike a blow than anyone else, 
people would hâve liked ail his actions to correspond 
with his réputation, and it seemed that, as he had 
had recourse like a woman to biting words wherewith 
to show his resentment, they had in no way done so. 
It was thought that this kind of insuit was a weapon 
much more fit for women than for a hero like him. Ail 
the army knew of thèse scandais, just as well as the 
whole Court and the whole of Paris, and, although 
the Comte d'Harcourt did everything he could to 
gain the friendship of the officers, there were none 
of them, at least among the most important ones, 
who did not proceed to inform M. le Prince that, 
should his différences with the minister go any further, 
they would not hesitate to embrace the Cardinal's 
interests against his own. The Cardinal, who had 
this in common with his predecessor, that he tried 
to hâve spies everywhere, got news of this through a 
man called Du Tôt, who believed that, to make one's 
fortune, one must attach oneself to the minister in 
préférence to everything else. An attempt had been 
made to win him over, as he was in the service and 
well enough liked by the soldiers. Debas, a créature 
of M. le Prince, one who was from my province, had 
been employed in this ; but Du Tôt had told him in 
formai terms that he was the servant of M. le Prince, 
but not to such a point as to déclare himself against 
him whom the Queen-mother had selected to hold 
the reins of state. He would not, he said, enter 
into a discussion as to whether he was worthy 
to do so or not; it was not for him to judge of 
this, but for the Queen, and, until the time when 


she should hâve deposed him, he would remain faithful 
to him until his last breath. Indeed, continued he, 
he made no distinction between failing in fidelity to 
him or to the King, until such time as he should hâve 
been proscribed. The Cardinal was very pleased with 
:his answer, vi^hich he only heard a long time after, 
that is to say, when Debas, who was then trying to 
corrupt others, let himself be corrupted. As Du Tôt 
made a point of being an honest man, he preferred 
that he should hear of it from someone else than 
himself. He contented himself with doing his duty, 
without attempting to praise himself. For this reason, 
although I hâve just now given him the name of 
" spy," I do not think I had much reason for doing 
so. One may let a minister know of what is happening 
prejudicial to the service of the King without sullying 
one's honour ; this is ail he did, and therefore it is only 
fair to do him justice. 

Be this as it may, his Eminence, perceiving that a 
great storm was brewing against himself, considered 
that there was no better expédient to divert it than to 
carry out his résolve. Meanwhile, so as not to be cen- 
sured in the world, and in order on the contrary to 
find defenders when the friends and créatures of M. le 
Prince should rise against him, he granted him the 
governorship of Pont de l'Arche after having a long 
time refused to do so, and with much firmness too. 
He even had this refusai widely announced, so that 
everyone might think, as was true, that M. le Prince 
had rather extracted this favour from him than he 
himself had granted it. M. le Prince, who had not 
yet ail the expérience he has since gained, reckoning 
this as a great triumph, boasted of it in private to 

VOL. II 2 


those whom he thought his friends, but, as many of 
those to whom one gives that name are far from 
deserving to bear it, there was one who went so far as 
to report it to his Eminence. This increased the 
reasons for resentment which that minister enter- 
tained against him, and having made the Queen 
share his displeasure, her Majesty thought it best to 
take measures with the Parlement, so that it might 
not espouse his cause. Not that that body had much 
cause for doing this, for in addition to having declared 
against it in the civil war, he had further had the 
houses of ail its members so plundered, that one 
might hâve said that he had been intent upon such 
a course of action. The Cardinal had obtained this 
from her as a favour, not that he then dreamt of what 
was to happen, but so that, sharing part of the public 
hatred with himself, their interests might in the future 
become but identical. In this, his policy was not bad : 
on the contrary, it was that of a clever Italian, but, as 
it frequently happens that the plans one has made turn 
eut quite differently from what one expects, instead of 
so uniting their fortunes, he found means of making 
everything which occurred contribute to his ruin. To 
undertake this stroke, it was necessary to associate in 
his fortunes the Duc d'Orléans, who was a meek prince 
and allowed himself to be ruled. His rank as uncle 
of the King gave him a great position in the State, and 
in some measure made up for the small considération 
he was held in for any personal qualities. M. le Prince, 
who knew him better than anyone else, had tried by 
his tact to efface any resentment which he might 
retain about the affair of the officer.^ Meanwhile, 
as a single word of the Abbé de la Rivière, to whom 
^ See Volume i, page 359. 


the Court had recently given the bishopric of Langres, 
and who had absolute power over his mind, was more 
than enough to make his schemes fail, he took measures 
with him, so that, very far from opposing him, he might 
favour his plans to the best of his endeavours. 

This bishop was a man from the dregs of the people, 
but who for ail that was none the less greedy. When 
he came to monsieur, he would hâve thought himself too 
happy if he had been given a small bénéfice of five or 
six hundred " livres," but his good grâces, into which 
he had quite immediately entered, having procured for 
him some abbeys and eventually a bishopric, he dreamt 
of equalling the Cardinal, whom the voice of slander 
reported to be of like birth to himself. Those who 
knew the real state of things did not believe this, 
although the hatred they bore him, just like the others, 
made them disposed towards everything which could 
do him harm. The Bishop of Langres might hâve 
discovered the truth just the same as thèse people 
did, but, as he was very desirous of not knowing it, 
in order that so much fault might not be found with 
him for trying to equal the Cardinal, he began to want 
to don the purple, not finding that the camaiP and 
the mitre honoured him suffîciently. So it is that, as 
one advances, one always aspires to something one does 
not possess. Be this as it may, this bishop, finding 
no disposition at Court towards making his schemes 
succeed, turned in the direction of M. le Prince, who 
did not fail to proffer him ail the advances possible, 
so that at the right time he might check his master in 
the event of someone cropping up to try and make 
mischief between them. 

^ An ornament worn by a bishop over his lawn sieeves. 

2 — 2 


The Bishop of Langres did not refuse his friendship, 
and, as he knew that M. le Prince had for some time 
placed himself upon a footing to obtain, by fair means 
or foui, everything he might want for himself or his 
créatures, he thought that he would once more do for 
him what he had already done for so many others. 
Accordingly, their interests requiring that they should 
both unité against the Cardinal, M. le Prince deemed 
himself in such great safety on account of this, as to 
think himself at the top of the tree ; so coming to an 
open quarrel at every moment with this minister, the 
latter became so bitter against him, as not to be at rest 
till he had had him arrested. 

For this he had either to again win over the Bishop 
of Langres, with whom he had for some time trifled, 
promising him afresh that the King would ask of 
Rome the hat he so much coveted, it was necessary, 
I repeat, to find means either of deluding him again 
or at least to make him lose his master's confidence, 
so as to get the latter to sanction the résolve which 
had been taken against the Prince de Condé. Without 
him one dared not carry it out. The danger was too 
great, and it would hâve been the means of arousing 
the whole State against the government of the day. 
Finally, although the one course seemed no less difficult 
than the other, on account of the obstacles which 
appeared on ail sides, his Excellency nevertheless 
decided that, from the disposition of the Duc d'Orléans' 
mind, hc would succeed better with him than with 
the other. The bishop was too well trained in his 
work to let himself be caught a second time, whereas, 
if someone who had a little sensé and tact was to be 
found, he might hope to make the duc do everything 
he wanted. 


There were then three parties in the State : that of 
the Court, commonly called the Mazarin party : that 
of the Prince de Condé, and that of the Parlement, 
called by the nanie of Frondeurs. This name had 
been given to it because, during the height of the civil 
war, some members of that body had advised not 
only that very severe measures should be taken 
against the Cardinal, but further had maintained 
that, to ruin him entirely, a proceeding of this kind 
was necessary, in such a heated manner that they had 
corne to abusing their own colleagues. Their rage 
arose from thèse latter not sharing their feelings as 
they desired, and being, on the contrary, inclined to 
smooth over matters. The first of thèse parties was 
composed of most of the courtiers, the second of a 
great number of military officers, some even of those 
most esteemed, the third, of the Duc de Beaufort, 
of the Coadjutor^ of Paris who was a brother of the 
Duc de Retz and of the whole of the people of that 
great city. Thèse citizens did not really know what 
they wanted : had they known, they would but hâve 
thought of keeping peace. They had already suffered 
so many evils from civil war that, although this one had 
lasted no longer than six weeks, more than six 
years were yet necessary to efface its effects. But 
the Word " tax," which is hateful to the populace, 
(and the horror of which the Parlement was further 
clever enough to add to by reporting that the Cardinal 
had ail the money it was producing sent into Italy) 
making them ready for ail the ideas one wanted to 
impress upon them, their simplicity reached such a 

^ The Cardinal de Retz, Jean François Paul de Gondi, born 
Î614, died at Paris, 1679. 


pitch that they began to believe that taxes would be 
totally abolished, ovving to the Parlement taking up the 

As it was a great thing to hâve thèse people, who 
are almost equal in number to the whole of the rest of 
the kingdom, on one's side, the Cardinal (who knew 
that he was not Hked by the Parlement, and that, con- 
sequently, directly that body perceived the arrest of 
the Prince de Condé, it would make use of the 
opportunity to ruin him), tried not only to alienate 
the Duc de Beaufort and the Coadjutor from it, but 
also to embroil them with the Prince de Condé to 
such an extent as to make them keep that body in the 
path of duty through the delight they would feel at his 
fate. This was difficult enough for him to do in the 
case of the first-named nobleman. The resentment 
he still retained on account of his imprisonment, when 
he had been treated with much severity, was yet so 
active in his mind that he could not hear the Cardinal 
spoken of without disgust. For instance, although his 
Eminence was thinking of giving one of his nièces to 
his elder brother, which in his idea was to bring about 
a reconciliation, up to that time it had produced so 
small an effect that he wished him just as much evil 
as ever. As to the Coadjutor, his mind was no better 
disposed in his favour, as he not only aspired to the 
purple, but also to dépose the minister so as to him- 
self take his place. He regarded the Cardinal with 
just as much envy as a lover does a rival who 
happens to be favoured. Besides, he was none too 
well pleased with the Queen, who had not received 
the offers of help, which he had gone to make her on 
the day of the barricades, in any too gracious a manner. 


She had indeed scarcely looked at him, either because 
she knew him to be possessed of ambition enough to 
make her feel sure that he was capable of inciting 
thèse disturbances rather than calming them, or 
because she was in such a bad humour at what had 
just happened, that she was unable to think over 
things as thoroughly as was her custom on other 

Thèse difficulties, which were great enough to hâve 
discouraged anyone but the Cardinal, did not never- 
theless discourage him. As, in matters of cunning and 
knavery, he would hâve been very sorry to give way to 
anybody, he thought of something which nobody per- 
haps but himself would hâve dreamt of. He posted 
men at night, who fired musket shots into the carriage 
of M. le Prince, while he was passing over the Pont 
Neuf. By good luck he was not in the carriage, but 
one of his lackeys (for thus he himself termed them, 
and I may well do the same thing after his example) 
having been wounded, he believed, as appeared to be 
the case, and as the Cardinal was well pleased he 
should suspect, that someone had wished to assassinate 
him. Nevertheless, he did not know who was at the 
bottom of it, unless it was the minister. He believed 
that, except him, he had never offended anyone, but 
his Eminence, to whose advantage it would not hâve 
been to hâve left him under this impression, having 
soon disabused him of it and made him believe that, 
far from an attempt of this kind being his work, the 
Coadjutor was much more the right person to be 
suspected, he strengthened this slander by some cir- 
cumstances which were likely to thoroughly impress 
this idea upon the prince's mind beforehand. The 


circumstances in question were that, in a conversation 
which the prince had had with some persons of rank, 
he had slightly lampooned the Coadjutor. He had 
described him as being more amorous than pious, and, 
as truth offends more grievously than anything else, 
and as even that which has merely its appearance often 
produces the same effect as truth itself, the prince was 
ail the more inclined to believe this was the case, 
knowing from a good source that his words had been 

Appearances were sufficient to condemn him. He 
made a violent attack upon him. He openly blamed 
the Coadjutor, and, the matter being reported to 
the functionary, and the prince even declining to 
hear his defence, the fear which he was in of his 
violence (taies of which abounded on ail sides) made 
him seek a protector in the person of the Cardinal. 
His Eminence got him cheap, because he saw that he 
had need of his help. They both joined together 
against the prince, and, as the Coadjutor was one of 
the friends of the Duc de Beaufort, he promised the 
minister, while making his pact, that he would get him 
to join them if he could. He also promised that, 
should he be unable to do so, he would at ail events 
be answerable for his not siding with the prince against 
him. M. le Cardinal was satisfied with this promise, 
and, perceiving that he had nothing further to fear in 
this quarter, now only thought of striking the blow 
he had contemplated for such a long time. The thing 
was very cleverly carried out, just when the prince 
least expected it. The minister, having found means to 
get the three princes, against whom he had conspired, 
assembled together on the pretext of some business the 


Comte de Matignon had with the Council, had the 
comte secretly informed that he must not only beg 
M. de Longueville to be there, but also make him see 
that his brothers-in-law were présent. This they did 
without suspecting anything, and were in this manner 
arrested and taken to the Château of Vincennes, 
where the Cardinal confided them to the keeping of 
Debas, who was a shrewd Gascon. The latter had been 
my comrade whilst I was with his Eminence, and 
never did man better understartd the secret of deceiving 
the public than he ! Everyone thought him incapable 
of knavery, so much so that those who had not quite 
the same opinion of the Cardinal said, when speaking 
of him, that he was a living contradiction of the proverb 
which informs us, that servants are usually like their 
master. However, in the end, after having played his 
part so well for some time, he showed clearly that it 
was but too true that faith should be placed in this 
proverb. Indeed, he got hold of a hundred thousand 
crowns which the Comte de Seulemberg, Governor of 
Arras (who has since become Maréchal of France 
under the name of Moudejeu) had confided to him. 

The worthy Guittaut, captain of theQueen's Guards, 
accompanied by his nephew De Comminges, was the 
individual who arrested the three princes, and, as there 
was a danger of their being rescued on the way, his 
Eminence promised the Comte de Miossens, lieutenant 
of the Company of gendarmes of the guard of the King, 
that, provided he should safely conduct them to prison, 
he would procure the bâton of a Maréchal of France 
for him. It is he whom we hâve since seen calling 
himself the Maréchal d'Albret, a shrewd Gascon, and 
a man of inordinate ambition ; this is shown by the 


fact that such an honour, which is usually bestowed 
only as a reward for great deeds, cost him but the 
trouble of going two leagues by the side of a carriage 
containing three prisoners. However, this is nothing 
to be surprised at. He was one of those people with 
whom everythingsucceeded, and one who, if I may use 
an expression which is usually employed to designate a 
lucky man, was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. 
It is true he could boast of a fine name — the name of 
D'Albret is one with which no others can compare ; so, 
if it had been his by right, it would hâve been more 
excusable for him than for the Maréchal de Turenne to 
be unwilling to be called maréchal. Scions of the 
family of D'Albret, had there been any in existence, 
would indeed hâve considered themselves dishonoured 
by such a thing, but as there is a great différence 
between bastards and legitimate heirs, one must not 
be surprised if he whom I speak of showed himself 
less délicate than those from whose left side he sprang. 
Be this as it may, I hâve not been far out, it seems 
to me, in declaring that he was born with a silver 
spoon in his mouth, since in his youth, being on the 
point of returning to his native province from lack of 
money, he had found a lady who paid him so well for 
certain services he had performed for her, that he 
obtained the wherewithal to buy a company in the 
Guards. He had also obtained a good many other 
favours from this lady, in short, it was to her he owed 
his good fortune. It is true that he was not the first ; 
a circumstance which well deserved that she should 
pay him better than if she had presented him with an 
entirely virgin heart. As apparently she had a fancy 
for the tribe of bastards, a former lover of hers had 


been a man who was a by-blow of her own family. 
Besides this, she had had many other lovers, some 
bastards, some of legitimate birth. Somebody one day 
had been near telling this to her husband, who was 
a hero of the fîrst rank, but, as there was no need of 
his being told for him to know it, and as he was of 
opinion that in thèse sort of matters it was much better 
to prétend to be blind than too clear-sighted, he replied 
to the individuals, who spoke to him, who from feeHngs 
of dehcacy talked as if of things far away and as meaning 
someone else than himself, that for his part, were his 
wife a flirt, he would be so annoyed to be told about it 
by anyone as to believe that the only reward he could 
give to such charitable folks would be to run his sword 
through their bodies. His would-be informants needed 
no more to make them shut their mouths. They 
heartily agreed that he would never escape from a 
state of cuckoldom, as men sometimes claim to do 
who kill their wife's lovers ; but they may say what 
they like, I do not see that they escape any the more 
by so doing. On the contrary, I think that, instead 
of extricating themselves from the mire, they but sink 
the deeper into it. Indeed, it is but publishing their 
misfortune, and from being like Cornélius Tacitus, 
whom at first they resemble, they become, as says a 
common proverb, with some wit at least on the part 
of the individual who first originated it, like Cornélius 
Publicus ! 

M. le Prince being thus in prison, his friends and 
parasites, who were in despair, had the added grief 
of seeing a display of fire-works given by the city. 
Nevertheless, the cry of " Vive Mazarin" was not heard 
as *' Vive BrousseV had formerly been. The inhabitants 


contented themselves with only celebrating the memory 
of the justice, which they believed had been granted 
them in depriving of liberty a man who had not only 
robbed them of part of their property, but had also 
so thoroughly blocked the roads into the town, that 
it had not been his fault he had not made them die 
of hunger. 

After they had committed a thousand follies about 
this, as was usually their way in matters which they 
thought concerned their interests, they calmed down 
their great ardour which made people, who had any 
brains, laugh. M. le Cardinal, to whom I paid my 
court much more assiduously now that I was no longer 
in his service, seeing me one day in his room, where 
there was scarcely anyone else, asked me what I 
thought of such an unexpected change. At first, I 
would say nothing in reply: not that I did not know 
what I ought to answer, but perhaps from fear of dis- 
pleasing him by speaking freely to him. Nevertheless, 
my silence only increasing his vanity the more, "Hâve 
your say," said he, "and know that I do not approve 
of you alone being silent about a matter in which it 
seems to me I deserve at least some praise." "I am 
sure of it, Monseigneur," I replied, "since you hâve 
donc everything you could to succeed : but to believe 
that things will turn out for you as you think, is 
something I will not agrée to so early in the day." 
He would not let me say more, and having as it were 
snatched the right of speaking away from me, — "You 
are playing the clever man," he continued, "but, to 
show you that you are just as likely to be deceived as 
other people, I want you to come in my carriage with 
me this moment: I désire, I repeat, to show you by 


the extent of the public acclamations, that you are 
wrong not to believe that I am now as popular with 
the populace as in the past I was the contrary." I would 
say nothing more to him, from fear of paining him by 
continuing to try and disabuse his mind. Meanwhile, 
we got up into the carriage as he desired, his Eminence 
being in the back with M. de Navailles, and myself in 
front with Champfleuri, the captain of his guards. The 
carriage we were in was magnificent, the horses the 
same — ail of them the best he had in his stable, for he 
wanted to attract everybody's attention; but, instead 
of succeeding in his wishes through ail this, just the 
opposite happened to him. The more his équipage 
was worthy of the admiration of the Parisians, the 
more they made it a subject for abusing him. This I 
clearly perceived from the way they were talking to 
one another, even had not their looks shown it me well 
enough. Not a man took off his hat to the Cardinal, 
who was regarded by the people as one only tricked 
out at their expansé. We traversed the city from the 
Palais Royal to the Porte St. Antoine, without a soûl 
presenting himself before us to acclaim his Eminence 
in any way. Navailles, who was already desirous of his 
returning to the Palais Royal, tried to divert him on the 
way with jokes, so as to spare him the pain of what he 
saw, but he had no désire for laughter, especially after 
having boasted so magnificently, as he had done, that 
he had only to show himself to disillusion me of my 
ideas, and so nothing could equal his confusion on 
his return. I began to talk as Navailles had done to 
dissipate his annoyance, but, as he knew that I was 
a long way from being as easy-going as he was, he did 
not take it in the same way. 


Indeed, to tell the truth, this man was as clever 
a courtier as the Court has ever seen. The fortune 
he made there clearly shows this. From being a 
cadet de Gascogne^ as he was, to hâve amassed an 
income of more than a hundred thousand livres is a 
good proof that he knew more than others. True, that 
the daughter of his eldest brother, whose property he 
had, complains a little ! Whether she is right or wrong, 
is a thing I will not go into nor will I mix myself up 
with it. I hâve enough to do with my own affairs 
without embarrassing myself with other people's. If 
he has done well or ill, iet those whose business it is 
look to it — it does not concern me. 

In the meantime, the three prisoners were transferred 
from the Château of Vincennes to that of I\Iarcoussis 
and from there to Havre de Grâce. Information arrived 
that the Vicomte de Turenne, who had allowed him- 
self to be won over to the side of the Prince de 
Condé, was advancing towards Champagne, which he 
reckoned he would march through without difficulty. 
His intention was to come and extricate him from 
the prison, which was incapable of resisting his 
army, but his Eminence having provided against this 
in the way I hâve just described, the Vicomte de 
Turenne laid siège to Rhetel and captured it. The 
archduke had given him some troops which he had 
joined to some régiments of his own. AU thèse made 
up an army of from thirteen to fourteen thousand 
men. Turenne alone was in command without the 

1 The cadets de Gascogne were more celebrated for their 
devilry and daring, than for their worldly possessions, which 
were as a rule very trifling. Cyrano de Bergerac, it will be 
remembered, served under the famous Carbon-Castel-Jaloux as 
a "cadet de Gascogne." 


archduke being there in person, as I perceive many 
historians déclare was the case, but this is just where 
they must not be believed, since it is certain that the 
prince in question was at Brusscls. I speak of this as 
an expert, I who soon after found myself among the 
troops who had to do with the Prince de Condé, and 
who totally defeated him. 

I had not made a bad estimate as to the feehngs of 
the Parisians towards his Eminence. The hatred they 
bore him made them soon forget the wrongs they 
deemed themselves to hâve received from the Prince 
de Condé, so, weeping for his misfortunes with the 
same eyes which one had seen flash with joy at the news 
of his imprisonment, they raised a great outcry that 
he and his brothers should be set at hberty, and 
that the Cardinal should be expelled from office. The 
Parlement, which secretly made them do this, and 
which, since the peace, had done a number of things 
which showed plainly enough that it would never obey 
the minister except by compulsion, soon joined with 
the malcontents to assist them in their revolt. There 
were in it the seeds of rébellion which the peace had 
never rooted up, so, suddenly regaining its former 
strength, it recommenced its sittings in défiance of 
their having been forbidden to do so by the Court. 
The Cardinal secretly opposed this before openly doing 
so. He complained to the Coadjutor, who had pro- 
mised to keep this body (the Parlement) faithful to 
him, that he was keeping his word badly, and that, 
after having made him believe it would make no move, 
it was doing worse than it had ever done. He told 
him that it was his business to stop it, since he had 
undertaken to do so. The Coadjutor had not a word 


to say to this. It was true that he had given his word 
to the Cardinal to restrain the Parlement at any time 
it should be inclined to make a disturbance, but, as 
his Eminence for his part had promised to obtain a 
Cardinal's hat for him and it did not arrive, this 
functionary took no trouble to satisfy his remonstrances. 
Both of them were only trying to cheat one another. 
The whole question at first lay in doing so in such a 
cunning way that no one should discover it, but 
as this was very difficult now that they knew one 
another better than they had at first done, suspicion 
follovved the friendship they had mutually promised, 
hatred then ensued, and at last a fixed désire to ruin 
each other. 

The Vicomte de Turenne, after having captured 
Rhetel, also thought to get the whole frontier of 
Champagne under his sway. This was not difBcult 
for him, while matters remained in their présent state. 
There was no one to défend it, and the conquests 
which the minister had taken it into his head to make in 
Italy for his private ends, kept troops there, which 
would hâve been much better employed in Champagne 
than in a country separated from us by a barrier which 
could not be forced without apparently running against 
the will of God. For indeed, when one looks closely 
into things, it seems that there is truth in saying that 
He has decreed that there should be limits to kingdoms, 
and that they could not hâve been better defined than 
by the chain of mountains which séparâtes that country 
from our own. Thesamethingappliesto the Pyrénées, 
which God also appears to hâve placed where they 
are, only as a division of our crown from that of Spain. 
But in short, as it is not a new thing for men to go 


against the wishes of the Sovereign Lord of ail things 
and even when they are laid down in Holy Writ, so, 
when ail that can be said rests merely upon a pre- 
sumption, there is no cause for surprise in their 
contravening them with even greater audacity. People 
soon smother ail their better thoughts to further their 
ambition, and the désire they hâve to dominate the 
whole world makes them not only cross mountains 
but whole seas besides, if it is a question of getting 
what they want. 

Be this as it may, the necessity of defending the 
province of Champagne obliging this minister to aban- 
don thèse vain projects to do what was most needful, 
the Cardinal made some troops which were on the other 
side of the Alps return, and gave their command to 
the Maréchal du Plessis. He had served a long time 
and, wherever employed, had never been considered 
other than a good captain. It was a necessity for him 
that he should not only hâve this réputation, but also 
deserve it, to make any head against the Vicomte de 
Turenne, who was already in a way to make himself 
equally feared and esteemed. To thèse troops the 
Cardinal added the régiment of guards and, as we 
exceeded the enemy in infantry, the Maréchal du 
Plessis made no difficulties about marching straight 
on Rhetel which it was his design to recapture. The 
Vicomte de Turenne was too far away to relieve it in 
time, should it be a little pressed ; so, as the success 
of this undertaking only depended upon making haste, 
the maréchal entered upon it with so much keenness, 
that the siège was finished before the Vicomte de 
Turenne could even hâve arrived on the heights of 
Sonpuis. He had abandoned ail his schemes in other 
VOL. II 2 


quarters to corne to the help of this fortress, and he 
had hoped to succeed, because he had with him the best 
cavalry of Europe. In the first place he had with him 
sixteen hundred horse of his own, which were ail as 
well equipped as the King's guards are to-day. The 
men were picked as well as the horses, and besides 
that, there were the old troops who had formerly 
fought under the great Gustave and under the famous 
Duc de Weymar. As the Vicomte de Turenne had 
not as yet had news that the fortress had surrendered, 
he still continuée! his advance with the same haste he 
had employed since he had set out : however, on 
reaching Sonpuis, he learnt not only the fate of 
the town, but further that the maréchal was coming 
to meet him, to save the trouble of his going to find 
him. The Cardinal, who had received a courier from 
the maréchal, thought that it was of such great im- 
portance that he should be présent at the battle for 
which the former was making préparation, that he at 
once took post-horses to join him. He had previously 
provided himself with ten thousand louis d'or, which at 
that time was a large sum for the Court. He wanted 
to make présents to the soldiers so as to cause them to 
fight more bravely. There is no doubt that he must 
hâve been very anxious to gain the day, since he was 
willing it should cost him so much. Thus, to over- 
come his natural bent of mind was a thing just as 
remarkable as his good luck. Indeed, ten thousand 
louis d'or were to him as much as ten millions to any- 
one else, and although they did not corne out of his 
purse, it is certain that this move must hâve cost him 
a good deal to make before finally determining upon it. 
Eventually, however, he reflected that it would per- 


haps be the mcans of making the Parlement return 
to its duty. He feared this body more than any army 
and could noteven hear it spoken of without trembling. 
He was always calling to mind the day of the barri- 
cades, and as he had observed that, for having dared 
to arrest two or three of its members, a hundred 
thousand men had immediately rushed to arms, he 
thought with much reason that he would never be in 
safety till he had taken means either to win it over, 
or to reduce it to such impotence that it should no 
longer be in a position to hurt him. 

No sooner did the Vicomte de Turenne become 
aware of the arrivai of the minister and his intention 
in coming, than he thought he ought not to décline a 
battle. He flattered himself that the valour of his 
cavalry would make up for the faults of his other 
battalions ; for this reason, instead of drawing up his 
troops in battle-array, as is usually done on such an 
occasion, he was satisfied with putting some squads of 
infantry amongst his squadrons. In this way he 
marched towards the enemy, whom he expected to 
scatter at once, but the maréchal, who had posted his 
foot-soldiers in advantageous places, and who had 
commanded them not to fire without orders, having 
made them fire their volleys in their faces so to speak, 
notwithstanding ail the bravery this cavalry possessed, 
so many of them fell that the remainder were totally 
scattered. The maréchal profited by this disorder. 
He at once had them charged by his squadrons, who 
had not worn themselves out much at the siège and 
who were fresh and vigorous. This charge completed 
the rout, and the cavalry having retreated at a gallop, 
it was in vain that the Vicomte de Turenne tried to 



rally them to a charge ; he could never do so, so much 
so that every man having taken his own line of flight, 
he himself was forced to do the same. The maréchal 
detailed some squadrons to pursue the fugitives, a 
great many were captured and the same fate would 
hâve overtaken the Vicomte de Turenne, had he not 
been well mounted and well acquainted with the 
roads. He retired to Stenai where he only arrived on 
the fourteenth day. This fortress, which belonged to 
M. le Prince, was holding out for him, and had received 
a Spanish garrison, so as to be in a better state to 
défend itself. 

The Cardinal, having after this victory returned to 
Paris, thoiight that now he onght to take the Parle- 
ment in hand ; so, not thinking that it would still be 
in a condition to lay down the law to him, he spoke 
very haughtily to some of its niembers, whom the 
Queen had sent for to the Palais Royal to reprimand 
for their constant plots. The Parlement, indeed, had 
been quite taken aback by the late victory which had 
placed the Court above its enemies. At last, however, 
having taken into considération the fact that, should 
it allow the Cardinal to completely crush M. le Prince, 
it would perhaps be impossible for itself to afterwards 
resist him, it arranged to hâve a pétition presented to 
itself by Madame la Princesse, asking for the libéra- 
tion of her husband. The mother of the prisoner 
had already presented one during the early days of 
his détention which was to the same effect. It had 
however been rejected on account of the Coadjutor, 
who was now arranging the new one, being at that 
time on good terms with the Cardinal. As this 
functionary then had hopes that the latter would hâve 


him given the cardinal's hat which he had promised 
him according to the terms of their agreement, he had 
taken good care not to allow any attentions to be paid 
to it, but eventually, his Eminence having tricked him 
just as cleverly as before he had tricked the Bishop of 
Langres, there was no longer anything to stop him 
openly declaring for M. le Prince, unless it might be 
fear lest désire of revenge for his attempted assassin- 
ation might lurk in his mind. 

The friends of M. le Prince, vvho had been constantly 
working for him since his arrest, perceiving that, in 
spite of the goodwill of the Parlement, he would find 
it hard to get out of his présent quarters, unless the 
Coadjutor should interest himself in his case, held 
counsel together to détermine how they should proceed 
in an affair of such delicacy. This prelate wanted to 
hâve assurances given him in view of the fears he 
entertained. This appeared to them but just, so much 
so, that they themselves offered to go bail, that not 
only would M. le Prince never think of the assassin- 
ation again during his lifetime, but would further 
become his friend. This they told him, that he might 
be satisfied with their déclaration that ail the people 
in Paris as well as themselves were equally disabused 
of the idea that he had had anything to do with what 
had occurred on the Pont Neuf. Indeed, for some 
time now, everyone had begun to perceive that ail this 
had only originated from the Cardinal, and people 
detested his knavery the more, whilst he secretly 
continued to congratulate himself upon his plot having 
turned out so successfuUy. 

The Coadjutor was of opinion that something was 
to be said for the word of so many honest men, 


especially in a matter which spoke for itself as did 
this one. In the meantime as, before thoroughly 
declaring himself for M. le Prince, he wanted to make 
some terms vvith him, he came to the conclusion that 
he would never obtain a guarantee of this unless he 
himself ratified it. This ratification was, so to speak, 
impossible in his présent position. Debas, who had 
followed him to Havre, and who was quite devoted to 
his Eminence, still continued to keep an eye on him ; 
so carefully indeed did he do this, that he was near 
being jealous of his shadow. Clever and suspicions as 
he was, he had nevertheless been several times tricked, 
and even under his own eyes. One of his guards, who 
had been bribed, managed to convey letters to M. le 
Prince in a crown-piece which had been specially 
scooped out on one side and which had been so 
cleverly put together again that, but for the fact that 
it did not weigh as much as others, it was exactly similar 
to them. There would hâve been no need for so much 
mystery, had this guard been able to communicate 
with M. le Prince in secret, or cleverly give him a 
letter without anyone noticing. However, Debas 
never let his prisoner out of his sight, or, if he did 
leave him, his son, who was his second self, at once 
took his place. Accordingly, everything being dan- 
gerous with a vigilance such as theirs, it had been 
necessary to hâve recourse to this artifice to convey 
information to M. le Prince and obtain news of him. 
This particular expédient had been adopted, because 
he was in the habit of firequently playing at quoits, 
sometimes with the Prince de Conti, sometimes with 
the Duc de Longueville, and sometimes even with the 
younger Debas; for, as regards the father, far from 


having anything to do with him, he hated him so 
bitterly on account of his rough manners, that he had 
ail the difficulty in the world in putting up with him. 

The guard had been the cause of the adoption of 
this stratagem, because, once won over, he had been 
questioned as to how the prince passed his time. The 
man had stated what I hâve just said, and further, that 
he was in the habit of paying him to pick up the 
quoits. Accordingly, he was instructed as to what he 
had to do, which was that, when he gave the scooped 
out coin to the Prince de Condé, he should either 
squeeze his hand or wink his eye in a way to make 
him understand the secret. This the guard did not 
fail to do, and the prince who was clever, having 
easily understood from the lightness of the crown- 
piece that it was destined for other purposes than to 
play quoits with, put it in his pocket and took another 
in its place. By thèse means it was hoped to give 
him news of what was going on ; but, as the agree- 
ment which the Coadjutor wanted for his own safety, 
contained many paragraphs and could only be put in 
the crown-piece in several instalments, it would hâve 
been likely to hâve wasted a good deal of time had not 
the death of the Princesse de Condé (the Dowager) 
smoothed away the difficulty. Her death was utilised 
to ask permission of the Court to interview her son 
about the wili she had made. This was so natural 
that the Cardinal had no suspicions about it. Ail the 
same, he would hâve refused, had he not been afraid 
that there would be an outcry against him. He knew 
his conduct was being watched, and that the least 
thing which gave cause for fault-finding would not be 
likely to be forgiven. Perrault who, as I fancy I hâve 


said, had been arrested at the same time as his master, 
but since liberated, was therefore allowed to go and 
see him. Debas kept him under strict observation, so 
that he might speak of nothing to him but the object 
of his visit ; but as, however strict one may be, it is 
very difficult in thèse kind of interviews to prevent 
oneself from being deceived, the président sHpped into 
his master's hand a paper which contained everything 
he was wanted to know. 

M. le Prince was so Httle unconvinced about the 
attempt at assassination, which he maintained the 
Coadjutor had tried to make upon him, that he felt 
quite an extraordinary répugnance at granting what 
was asked of him for that individual. Nevertheless, 
as he saw nothing worse than prison, and as this was 
to procure him his freedom, he eventually consented 
to it. One does not know, in spite of this, whether he 
did so in good faith and whether, even at that time, he 
did not entertain ideas of breaking his word. 

Be this as it ma}^, having not only signed this paper, 
but having further returned it to Perault in the same 
way as it had been given him, the Coadjutor no sooner 
verified that it was drawn up in the manner he desired, 
than he turned his back on the Cardinal. Up to that 
time he had been careful with him. Although he was 
aware of his craftiness, he had not dared to déclare 
himself without being sure of M. le Prince. Otherwise 
he was afraid of the Cardinal's becoming reconciled 
with him to his own ruin, and that he would be left 
without any support or prop between two enemies of 
such a formidable kind. Being at last guaranteed 
against this danger, he employed ail his endeavours 
with the Parlement to try and obtain from it the 


exile of the one and the freedom of the other. His 
idea was to raise himself on the ruins of the Cardinal's 
fortunes and, as M. le Prince had bound himself by a 
clause of this agreement to grant him his protection to 
make him succeed in this undertaking, he reckoned that 
his success would be a certainty. 


rHILE ail this was going on, the Duc 
d'Orléans, whose place it was to play the 
chief part in the State, had allowed him- 
self to be trifled with by the Cardinal to 
such an extent, that one might say that 
in the latter's hands he had completely divested 
himself of his authority. He let himself be ruled 
sometimes by ail the world, and sometimes by his wife, 
who had not the sensé to see that ail the people whom 
she permitted to approach her only gave their advice 
with the intention of deceiving both herself and her 
husband. She was a sister of the Duc de Lorraine, 
and he had married her against the wishes of the late 
King, who had not only had his marriage declared 
void by a decree of the Parlement, but who further, 
as long as he lived, had never consented to relent in 
the matter. For this reason they had for several years 
been separated from one another, and it had only been 
since his Majesty's death that the présent King had 
consented to their coming together. This princess 
had ail her features excellently moulded, so that, if 
looked at in détail, she was a very beautiful woman. 


but, taking her altogether, hers was at most a waning 
beauty and one devoid of ail the charms vvhich vivacity 
bestows ; the only spark of it she showed in her life was 
in being ambitious beyond anything one can imagine. 
Accordingly, although she had not the intelligence to 
be troublesome, she had not been sorry to see disorders 
arising in the State, so that she might keep up her 
position without being obliged to draw ail her claims 
to considération from the Court. She could not in 
particular bear the Queen-mother, not that she found 
anything in that princess unworthy of esteem, but 
because her station was above her own. She was also 
none too fond of M. le Prince, especially since the 
insuit he had put upon the Exempt of Guards of her 
husband. The Cardinal, who tried to make everything 
serve his ends, and who would hâve been well pleased 
to see jealousy prevailing between thèse two familles, 
had cleverly had it hinted to her that M. le Prince was 
devoured by ambition, and that, in conséquence, he 
wanted not only to raise himself above the duc her 
husband, but also despised him so much that he 
appeared to hâve forgotten the différence there was 
between a son, a brother and uncle of the King, and 
a first prince of the blood. 

The little sensé, which she possessed by nature, had 
not enabled her to find in herself any of the qualities to 
withstand this deceit, and she had blunderingly fallen 
into the trap, the more so because, during the time of 
the victories of M. le Prince, his Court was usually so 
large as to hâve put her husband's to shame. The 
Coadjutor, who had himself been a witness on a 
thousand occasions of the ideas of this princess, and 
who knew that, the better to succeed in his designs, 


he ought to win the duc over, thought that, far from 
availing himself of her as a channel to success, he 
must hide everything from her with great care, if he 
wished to lead matters to a happy issue. Accordingly, 
he made the duc promise to tell her nothing about 
what he wanted to discuss with him, and then no 
longer abstained from opening his heart. The duc, 
like himself, had friends in the Parlement; the respect 
paid to his birth attracted some, and besides this, ail 
the others were well pleased to hâve him at their head, 
because they flattered themselves that his shadow 
guarded them against the reproach which some people 
levelled at them " of undertaking things beyond their 
powers." Be this as it may, the Duc d'Orléans, who 
had had a share in the imprisonment of M. le Prince, 
was now disposed to obtain him his liberty, for he 
allowed himself to be swayed by every breeze. He 
joined with the Parlement and with the Coadjutor for 
the carrying out of this undertaking. Not only did the 
Parlement reply to the request of Madame la Princesse, 
but further, it decreed that représentations should be 
made to the King and to the Queen with a view to 
obtaining the libération of her husband. Her Majesty, 
who, although devoid of ail that cleverness which is 
said to exist in some women, yet had a courage beyond 
her sex, thought that the Parlement was arrogating 
to itself an authority which was not its right. She 
sternly reproved it for meddling with a matter of 
this kind, and declared in formai terms that such a 
thing was beyond its powers, adding that a day would 
perhaps come when it might repent of its action. She 
also told its delegates that it was not the business of 
the Parlement to mix itself up in State secrets, and 


that, by acting in such a way, it wished apparently to 
follow the example of England, which, after having 
driven its King from his capital, had further in- 
humanely murdered him. The Parlement was shocked 
at this comparison ; so, matters becoming more and 
more strained, his Eminence began to fear that he 
might soon be obliged to withdraw into Italy. Indeed, 
the Parlement of Paris had not been alone in declaring 
itself for the Prince de Condé, that of Bordeaux had 
done just the same, and although the Cardinal had 
appeared to hâve quelled this storm by taking the King 
there, it was a long way from being entirely calmed 
down. This province still supported the prince, and 
as it never loses an opportunity, as I hâve already 
said, of revolting, but welcomes it with ail its heart, 
the minister was afraid of the two Parlements uniting. 
He foresaw that, should such a thing happen, there 
were yet others who might perhaps do the same thing, 
especially as there was hardly a single province which 
was not discontented with his ministry. Besides, the 
Comte de Grancé had retired to his government of 
Gravelines, apparently quite ready to form a party on 
the grounds that, after the battle of Rhetel, some 
Maréchaux de France had been created and he had 
been left out. He claimed to be as worthy of this 
honour as others, and wanted to obtain by force that 
which had not been given with a good grâce. 

As thèse were times when those who knew how to 
make themselves feared got everything they liked, he 
was considered to be in the right. Be this as it may, 
this would not hâve much embarrassed the Cardinal, 
had this been the only affair on his hands ; he knew 
of a remedy, which was to grant the comte what he 


asked for ! But it was not the same thing with regard 
to other people, since it was his own place which 
they wanted, and he was in no mood to give it up. 
This caused hini to take every kind of means to appease 
the Parlement, but as he must hâve owned the riches 
of a Croesus to satisfy ail its members, not one of 
whom did not want to be bought at a very high price, 
the storm which had been brewing against him for so 
long began to threaten him in such a menacing way 
that he deemed himself forced to yield ; so, making a 
virtue of necessity, he left the Court and went to 
Havre de Grâce, to comply with a decree of this 
corporation, which declared that the Prince de Condé 
and the two other prisoners should be set at liberty. 
Some other decrees had also been directed against him, 
and being anxious to avoid dealing with them as they 
did not suit him at ail, he left the kingdom, after 
having protested to the prince that it was not he who 
had been the cause of his misfortunes. The Prince de 
Condé thought what he liked about this, and having 
seen him leave without regret, he returned to Paris, 
out of which city a great number of people came to 
meet him. He would hâve been surprised had he 
known with what joy they had received the news of 
his imprisonment, but as no one had as yet taken the 
trouble to enlighten him on the subject, he received 
the proofs of their goodwill with pleasure, for he 
flattered himself that this was a répétition of those 
which they had shown him when his great deeds and 
repeated victories had rendered him celebrated 
throughout the kingdom. 

The Queen, who had studied enough under the 
Cardinal to know that one must dissimulate, if one 


wanted to make oneself worthy of the place she 
occupied, bestowed a thousand caresses upon the 
prince, although at heart in despair at his return 
and at the departure of the Cardinal. Besmaux 
followed him to Breûil, a pleasure-house of the 
Elector of Cologne, to which he retired, and his 
Eminence proceeded to Sedan. On his way there, 
Fabert lent him I do not know how much money 
which was not his own. His friends had given it him 
to keep, and as it was a considérable sum and the 
disposai of a deposit is never allowed, this loan, made 
as it was against ail forms and even with much péril, 
injured his réputation a good deal. Who could affirm 
indeed that this Minister was ever to return to Court, 
he whom the Parlement had proscribed in a decree 
and who saw ail the princes of the blood arrayed 
against him ! Accordingly, people did not fail to say, 
when they heard how Fabert had treated him, and 
when it was évident from what afterwards occurred 
that he had no reason to regret what he had done, 
that he must hâve been a magician to hâve carried 
out such a stroke as this ! 

While the Cardinal was at Breûil, he was accurately 
informed of everything which was going on at Court 
by the Queen herself, who was dying of désire to make 
him return. She deemed that her pride was concerned, 
and that to yield in this sort of way to a body of 
rebels, was to make a breach in her authority. The 
Prince de Condé, who was yet young and a lover of 
pleasure, spent the first days of his return in de- 
bauchery and without thinking too much of what he 
had to do. He deemed his victory complète since his 
enemy had abandoned his position, and, without fore- 


seeing what might happen, he began to despise every- 
body. He hardly looked at those who had taken up 
arms against their sovereign to get him out of prison ! 
The Vicomte de Turenne was of this number and even 
so to speak the chief one, he who had dared give 
battle for his sake ! Consequently, he was overcome 
with sorrow at the ingratitude of the prince and in- 
wardly swore never again to relapse into the same 
mistake he had just committed on account of being 
so badly rewarded by him. M. le Prince found a 
good deal to regret in his own behaviour when, some 
time after, he threatened to take up arms against his 

It is not known, to speak the truth, what really 
urged him to commit such a great fault against his 
sovereign, nnless it was that he saw the King's com- 
ing of âge drawing near, and was afraid that after 
that time the Queen would make the Cardinal return. 
As this minister was not more than a hundred leagues 
from Paris, and it was notorious that her Majesty was 
continually sending him couriers, he on that account 
thought that his Eminence still had just as much 
power over her as formerly. Besides, he observed that 
in his absence the Queen only consulted Servient, De 
Lionne and Le Tellier, three of his créatures, on ail 
matters of importance, a fact which greatly displeased 
him. The Prince de Condé had returned from prison 
with the idea of acting as régent in the Council, and 
that nothing should happen except according to his 
wishes. He found himself far from such a thing, and 
being born with great ambition and more fit to 
command than to obey, he sought for means of 
satisfying himself. Ail the same, he did not at 



first show any signs of what he was thinking about, 
and modelling himself upon the example of the Queen, 
who, the better to deceive him, looked kindly at him, 
he paid her his respects with ail the marks of sub- 
mission and obédience which she could désire from a 
subject. However, after both had been dissimulating 
for some time, the Queen, on the advice of the Cardinal, 
formed the idea of having the prince arrested again. 
This De Lionne and Le Tellier formally opposed on 
the ground that it would reunite the party of the 
prince with that of the Coadjutor. Already they had 
begun to quarrel afresh, not that the prince was not 
totally disabused of the idea he had formerly held as 
to the Coadjutor having wanted to assassinate him, 
but because he had corne to the conclusion that, 
should he carry out the agreement by virtue of which 
he had emerged from prison, far from obtaining the 
authority in the Council to which he aspired, he would 
but be changing masters. The idea of the Coadjutor 
was, as I hâve already said, to take Mazarin's place, 
and as he had secret and powerful bonds with the 
Duchesse de Chevreuse, the Prince de Condé, who 
was of a haughty spirit and who did not let himself 
be easily governed, was afraid that not only would 
he be obliged to bend to his will, but to hers as 
well. They had by their influence already made 
one Garde des Sceaux : this was the Marquis de 
Châteauneuf. They further expected to fiU the most 
important posts with their créatures without letting 
him hâve much share : so, being anxious to deliver 
himself from this new slavery, which was in no way 
to his taste, he made use of the Prince de Conti 
to succeed in his designs. The latter, by a clause 

VOL. II 4 


of their agreement, was to marry Mademoiselle de 
Chevreuse, who was a well enough made young 
princess and capable of rendering his life more pleasant 
than it had up to that time been. Consequently, he 
was more in love with her than with his breviary, 
which he had never caressed too much. His great 
ardour had displeased his brother who, on leaving 
prison, had dreamt of breaking off this marriage, and 
the agreement he had made, at the same time. He 
had told him his idea without as yet telling him 
anything about his plans. He had pointed out that 
princes ought to make love in a différent way from 
common people, and that, even were this not the case, 
he ought to keep within bounds more than anyone 
else, since he had always been one of the cloth, and 
consequently, people could not see him suddenly pass 
from such a high position to such great weakness 
without being quite scandalized. The Prince de Conti, 
who wore underneath his cassock the same passions 
which others wear under a cuirass or a shoulder-belt, 
scoffed at his advice, or at least, if not jeering openly, 
he did not fail to treat his mistress just the same 
as usual. The Prince de Condé was quite indignant 
with him, and, as he wanted his brother, like other 
people, to yield to his wishes, he began to adopt a 
tone towards him différent from the one he had up to 
that time employed. He began to make a thousand 
jokes to him about his mistress, and, finding nothing 
in her personal appearance to take hold of, he 
taxed her with bad behaviour. As her mother had 
private friends, of whose advice she availed herself 
in the great plans which she was contemplating, he 
accused the daughter of making use of them for 


other purposes than her mother did. He gave him to 
understand that the Coadjutor,the Marquis de Laicques 
and Caumartin, on leaving the duchess's room, were 
wont to enter that of his mistress. She had, he said, 
a " large appetite," so much so that, if he vvanted the 
leavings of thèse three persons, he had but to take her 
as his wife. The Prince de Conti, head over ears 
as he was in love, swallowed this slander as truth. 
Accordingly, without going into things further, he 
became so disgusted that he broke off with his 
betrothed. The Coadjutor had a shrewd suspicion that 
this blow came rather from the elder brother than 
from the younger one, but, as he was not yet quite 
sure of this, he thought it better not to break with him 
entirely. He wanted first of ail to thoroughiy clear up 
his suspicions, hoping that, if it was only jealousy 
which had made the Prince de Conti act in this way, 
it would not be difficult to cure him of it. Matters 
being in this state, the advice of M. de Lionne and 
Le Tellier, at the moment when the Queen and the 
Cardinal had conceived the idea of again laying hands 
on the person of the Prince de Condé, did not seem 
ill-timed either to her Majesty or her minister. Both 
accordingly resolved to delay its exécution until such 
time as the Coadjutor shall hâve no further grounds 
for suspecting the truth of the arrest. Meantime, they 
instructed both men to delay at least till he heard of it. 
They reckoned that, this once done, not only would 
there be no appearance of a reconciliation having taken 
place, but further, that it would be easy for them to 
gain the Coadjutor over to their interests. De Lionne 
and Le Tellier were two men of very différent character ; 



one was ail mystery, the other straightforward enough, 
although he occupied a position in which persons 
endowed from birth with sincerity soon lose it. The 
two men accordingly behaved very differently in the 
mission confided to them ; one made useof very round- 
about methods to gain his ends, the other went straight 
to the point without troubling to make such a fuss 
about it. He sent one of his clerks to tell the Coad- 
jutor that he would very much like to speak to him, 
and so, if he would appoint a meeting-place, would 
be there for certain. The prelate was quite willing, 
and, having informed M. de Lionne, went to the 
** Chartreux." They met at a certain monk's, whose 
name was Dom Julliot. Both came incognito, and, 
although M. de Lionne was ready enough to form a 
bad opinion of ladies' virtue (since he possessed one 
at home who gave him no cause for happiness) he 
began to laud the virtue of Mdlle. de Chevreuse to the 
skies, so as to increase the irritation felt by the 
Coadjutor at M. le Prince's having availed himself 
of this pretext to break with him. Further, having 
prepared his mind to listen to him the more readily, 
he declared that, if he were willing to effect a recon- 
ciliation with M. le Cardinal and lead the Parlement 
to no longer oppose his return, he should be given ail 
the assurances he might reasonably désire of being 
invested with the purple the first time the Pope should 
make any cardinals. Such a proposition was attack- 
ing him in his weak quarter ! He, the Coadjutor, 
wanted, at ail hazards, to become a cardinal, and as 
he could no longer hope to be Prime Minister, now 
that he no more had the Princesse de Condé to help 


him, lie promised M. de Lionne to do everythinj; in 
the matter which the Queen wished. Nevertheless, 
before binding himself to anything, he was anxious 
that her Majesty herself should ratify the promise she 
was now making. This interview lasted a good three 
hours, since they could not see each other again after- 
vvards without risking being recognised, and were 
desirous of settling everything at one single sitting. 
The Queen confirmed with her own lips to the Co- 
adjutor what De Lionne had told him on her behalf, 
and having agreed together to keep the matter secret, 
the prelate was no sooner reassured in this quarter 
than he broke with M. le Prince in the most open 
manner possible. He loudly complained that he was 
not a prince of his word, and that, even had he 
performed greater deeds than he had done, this defect 
totally wiped them out. 

M. le Prince was too clever not to see that the 
Coadjutor must be certain of powerful protection to 
break with him so openly. He at once concluded 
that it must be the Queen's, and as it was impossible 
for him to hold out against both influences, if he did 
not also lean upon some person who could balance 
their action, he paid his court to the eldest daughter 
of the Duc d'Orléans,^ who was a princess more fit 
to wear a soldier's tunic than a skirt. She had high 
aspirations, although at heart possessing a violent 
désire to be married. For some time past she had 
been old enough for this, being on the point of passing 
the âge of twenty-four, but, though she was then a 

I La Grande Mademoiselle, the Duchesse de Montpensier, 
horn in 1627, died 1693. 


very beautiful princess and the richest in Europe, the 
minister (Mazarin) had not chosen to give her to the 
numerous foreign princes who would hâve much Hked 
to take her. The Court did not wish her to carry 
them her fourteen or fifteen milHons, and this sum 
(to which her property amounted) seemed sufficiently 
large to be reserved for its own use. M. le Prince, 
who knew her désire and the obstacles in its path, 
adroitly made use of this state of affairs to win her 
over to his interests. He was aware that she possessed 
great influence over the mind of her father, and that 
if she undertook to gain him over to his side, she 
would be more likely to succeed than anyone else. 
In order to make her serve him the more willingly, he 
proposed the Duc d'Anguien, his only son, as her 
future husband. Nevertheless this offer was not one 
to tempt her. A child of seven or eight years old, 
such as he, was not the thing for a beautiful princess 
in the full strength of her desires ! However, as she 
foresaw that the same difficulty which had up to that 
time prevented her from being married would continue 
to exist, and that thus she would remain a spinister 
for ever, she preferred to hope that she might one day 
hâve this young duc for a husband to the prospect 
of having none at ail. She knew that he would grow 
bigger as time went on, and calculated that, although 
she must then be of a very disproportionate âge to 
him, her great riches would take the place of merit, 
even if the years which would hâve elapsed between 
then and now would hâve effaced from her counten- 
ance the flower of beauty which was there at présent. 
Indeed, this princess took such a fancy to the marriage 
that she became the advocate of M. le Prince with her 


It was impossible, with so many plots on foot, that 
the populace should not be carried away to commit 
some act of rébellion. It is an essential quality of 
setting a bad example, that it corrupts those who hâve 
the least leaning that way; so the Parisians, perceiving 
that they were ground down by taxes, and that the 
princes of the blood, who are usually the support of 
the State, were so at variance with the Queen as to 
give every appearance of seconding them, if they forgot 
their duty, proceeded to beat the clerks who raised 
thèse taxes. They even threw one or two into the 
river Seine, which threw them into such terror that 
most of them abandoned their offices. 

The King only entered Blois after having made a 
treaty with that town, which detained him for at least 
two or three days. He had even more trouble in 
treating with the city of Orléans, which would not open 
its gâtes to him at ail. While going through this part 
of the country I sought news of Rosnai,^ whose evil 
behaviour yet lay heavy on my soûl. Although several 
years had aleady elapsed since his insuit to me, I had 
not yet forgotten it — on the contrary, I was resolved 
to be revenged the moment I could; however, what I 
discovered was not of a nature to please me. I found 
that he had shown himself there but from time to 
time, and like a man who had ail the "Archers" of 
the province at his heels. This made me ask those 
who told it me, if he was involved in any trouble ? 
They replied that they knew of none, saving that 
he had once had a misunderstanding with a passing 
stranger. The report was current that this was the 
cause of his absenting himself, because this stranger, 

1 See Vol. I., p. 6. 


who was then but a youth, was considered by him and 
ail the country people as a fellow who sooner or later 
would do him a bad turn. 

By this I understood that this stranger was no other 
than myself, and on my afterwards asking for news 
of Montigré, the people answered that he had gone to 
Toulouse, to conduct a lawsuit against Rosnai; that 
they had been engaged in litigation since I do not know 
how long, and that a certain décision of Messieurs les 
Maréchaux de France, which had intervened between 
them, had not been able to terminate their disputes. 
There was a fear of Montigré's getting the worst of 
this lawsuit, as he was an honest man, and were this 
to happen, he would be irretrievably ruined. The 
latter had helped me too kindly for me not to feel 
solicitons about his affairs. I at once wrote to him 
to offer him friends in that part of the country as 
well as money. At the same time, I enquired if 
Rosnai had put in an appearance to plead against 
him. I was resolved to travel post according to his 
answer, directly my duties would allow, but the news 
I received from him saved me that trouble. He sent 
me word, that he saw him no more than he did a 
"werewolf," nor could he tell me what part of the 
world he inhabited, but, for the sake of his own peace, 
he would bave wished that I should hâve divested 
his enemy of the désire of pleading, as well as of that 
of showing himself amongst honest folk. I admired 
the strength of fear and what it was able to do. 
Meanwhile, as I always kept myself posted as to 
the doings of this " screech-owl " who, as it seemed, 
loved only darkness, I learnt some five or six months 
later, that not only had he won his suit, but that 


Montigré, who had been cast in more than ten thousand 
crowns damages and costs, had immediately died of 

I lamented him, as was right, after what he had 
done for me, but, as there was no remedy for what 
had befallen him, I contented myself with praying 
to God for him and having some masses said for 
his soûl. 

The Cardinal still continued to désire to make 
one of his nephews captain-lieutenant of the King's 
Musketeers. He had only had that company broken 
up with this end in view, hoping that, when it 
should no longer exist, Treville would show himself 
more tractable than before. He had secretly had him 
informed about this, and had not concealed from him 
that, if he did not arrange matters with him, he must 
never expect to see it re-established. Treville, who was 
as proud in misfortune as in prosperity, had not been 
alarmed at thèse threats, and had replied to those 
who spoke for the Cardinal, that, as long as the King 
might please to dispense with his Musketeers, he would 
remain at Court without employment, but that, should 
a wish seize his Majesty to again set them on foot, 
he hoped he would do him the justice to give him 
back the company, which he did not think he had 
lost from ever having failed in his duty. This reply 
had disconcerted the Cardinal and as, when once he 
wanted anything, he did not soon yield, he caused 
a number of propositions to be made him, which 
appeared advantageous, so as to get him to abandon 
his claims. Treville, who was not a man like anyone 
else, would not listen to them. His Eminence became 
incensed against him, and as he had the tendency of 


which his country is accused, and had not yet lost 
it since he had been in France — that is to say, love 
of revenge, he did ail he could to get him to take 
some false step. The moment v^as very opportune. 
Treville had a brother-in-law in the Parlement, and 
had he not been as attached as he was to the King's 
service, the rebels would hâve made him a good offer 
to secure a man of his worth. However, as his 
fidelity was above being shaken by ail the ill-treatment 
which could be bestowed upon him, he remained 
firmly attached to his duty. This did not cause the 
Cardinal to give way, and being aware that men, no 
less faithful than he, were often passed off as traitors, 
especially when one possessed the cleverness to tinge 
one's suspicions with some show of truth, he tried to 
insinuate to the Queen that Treville was dabbling 
in the rébellion of the Parlement. He even told 
her that he knew for certain that he was about not 
only to join the rebels before long, but further to 
cause part of the régiment of guards to pass over 
to their side by means of his brother-in-law. He 
added, that there was no other way of stopping this 
than by seizing their persons, nor must a minute be 
lost; for, should one of them hear the least rumour 
that they were suspected, they might not only secure 
themselves against the punishment they deserved, but 
further take measures which might be prejudicial to 
the State. 

The Queen did not always do ail the Cardinal 
wished — a long way from it. Accordingly, far from 
resembling the late King, who had exiled him some 
days before Cardinal Richelieu's death, to content 
that minister, and who had not, so to speak, dared to 


makc him return before his eyes were closed, she took 
quite another course. She answered that she knew 
Treville too well ever to suspect him of treachery, that 
he was proud, sometimes even more so than was right 
(since one should learn, when once at Court, to bend to 
the powers that be) ; however, although she perceived 
this defect in him, she would never do him the injustice 
of beHeving him guilty of what the Cardinal was now 
trying to persuade her. His Eminence, who perceived 
himself, as it were, thus accused of slander, wanted to 
justify himself, and, not being able to do so except by 
continuing to insist that he was guilty, and that his 
information came from such a good source that it was 
impossible to suspect it, the Queen could not refrain 
from replying that he himself did not believe what he 
was saying, but was well pleased that others should 
believe it, to satisfy his spite. She said that she had 
now for some time observed that he had inherited this 
from Cardinal Richelieu ; that he disliked Treville, 
and she had not a very good idea of what the reason 
might be ; however, this dislike seemed to her so ill- 
founded that, whatever he might do, she did not think 
that he could ever make her swallow it. 

Thèse words were such strong ones that, whatever 
was the Cardinal's respect for her Majesty, he could 
not remain silent. He tried to exculpate himself and 
did so in terms which so gravely displeased this 
princess, that she was forced to tell him more un- 
pleasant things than before. He withdrew quite 
confused and quite mortified, and, the serious business 
he then had at Court obliging him to go away for 
some days, he left Besmaux with her Majesty to effect 
a reconciliation. He ordered him to tell her that her 


bad treatment would oblige him to leave the kingdom 
more than ail the decrees of the Parlement ; that net 
only the whole of France, but further, ail Europe was 
convinced she had confidence in him, but ail the same 
it must be very slight, since it could not prevail against 
the shrewdness of a native of Bearn ; that for many 
reasons he would like the Parlement and ail other 
enemies to know what was going on, for, as they took 
as sole pretext for their fractiousness the kindnesses 
which they supposed her Majesty to bestow upon him, 
nothing could better disabuse them than the little 
confidence she reposed in his words. Further, since 
there could be nothing more painful for a man who 
found himself attacked by the whole of a great kingdom 
(and especially for one like himself, who knew that ail 
the hatred borne him but arose from his embracing 
the interests of her Majesty with a little too much 
warmth) he was resolved to withdraw into Italy, since 
he found himself deprived of the reward he expected 
for his services. He had always done everything to 
please her, and to prove that nothing equalled her own 
interests in his mind. However, from présent appear- 
ances, he seemed to hâve thoroughly wasted his time 
and was in despair in conséquence, but nevertheless, 
could do nothing else, for, when one did everything 
possible, one was not obliged to do more. The 
Cardinal further instructed Besmaux to continue to 
insist upon the imprisonment of thèse two men, and, 
if unable to succeed, to at least request the Queen to 
hâve them banished to some town far away from the 

Besmaux was delighted to find himself thus em- 
'ployed by the Cardinal. He had already been 


concerned in some other little matters, but, as it had 
never been in connection with the Queen, nor even 
with anyone who was within a hundred paces of her 
rank, he became so jubilant that it was not difficult 
for me to see by his manner that he had some great 
reason for rejoicing. And indeed, this showed itself 
to me so clearly that, although I was weU aware that 
one never ought to ask people secrets, I could not help 
telling him that he was wiong to conceal his good 
luck from his friends, as it deprived them of the means 
of rejoicing with him. He made pretence of not 
understanding what I meant, and, having asked me 
for an explanation, I innocently told him what I 
thought. He would not own the matter to me, in 
which he was not far wrong, since, besides being 
obHged to keep the secret, I should not hâve awarded 
him much praise for showing so much dehght, when 
it would seem to me rather that he should display 
nothing but sadness. Indeed, this business was not 
too creditable to his master, and, however he might 
acquit himself, his own honour would be concerned, 
to my way of thinking. Be this as it may, not having 
been able to extract any answer, but that I was puzzling 
to try and iind out, and was a sorry guesser, he betook 
himself to carrying out his Eminence's commands, 
and succeeded none too well. The Queen continued 
to do Treville justice, and her good opinion of him 
saving his brother-in-law, towards whom her feelings 
were not altogether so favourable, it only remained for 
the Cardinal to carry out his threats. He had had 
this princess informed that he would return to Italy ; 
but he took care not to do a thing so agreeable to 
France, one which would hâve saved it many men 


and many millions. Indeed, the civil war now raging 
in the realm was only on his account, or at least, if 
the ambition of certain people had something to do 
with it (such as the Prince de Condé and certain 
members of the Parlement), he might easily hâve 
removed the cause, had he been content to restrain his 
temper. However, he took care not to thus abandon 
the post of Prime Minister, a post in which he had 
already amassed a quantity of money which he had 
sent to Italy, and in which he contemplated amassing 
a good deal more to satisfy his avarice. Accordingly, 
very far from altering his conduct to please the popu- 
lace who loudly complained of it, he still continued to 
sell such offices as might chance to be vacant, no 
matter of what kind they might be. He went so far 
even as to sell those which had never before been sold, 
such as the post of " Surintendant des Finances," for 
which the Marquis de la Vieuville had given him four 
hundred thousand francs. This marquis had imagined 
that, in considération of this sum, he would let him 
do as he pleased, and that afterwards he would not 
take long to recoup himself ; however, he had clipped 
his wings so well that, had it not been that the 
Cardinal could not see everything, he would hardly 
hâve had " water to drink at home." Indeed, his family 
is no longer rich, and it would hâve been better for it 
that he should hâve kept his money, and not had such 
a good appetite. 

His Eminence, who, after his threats to the Queen, 
still wished that she should be grateful to him for 
remaining, had her told by his " créature " that, if he 
was not following the dictâtes of his just resentment, 
it was because he took pity on the sad state in which 


he found the kingdom. His désire was, to repair the 
ravages made in it before he left ; this done, he hoped 
she would not refuse to allow him to départ. His 
Eminence showed good sensé in speaking thus, and 
even conscientiousness, since, as it was he who had 
made the ravages, it was but right he should repair 
them ; however, instead of succeeding as he expected, 
he very nearly made a more serions one than ail those 
which had been made before. 

No sooner was the Prince de Condé with his army, 
than he made a sudden attack upon the Maréchal 
d'Hocquincourt. He fell on his soldiers, who were 
separated from those of Turenne, whilst they deemed 
themselves in perfect safety. The whole Court fell 
into terrible consternation, and was even in great 
straits. It no longer drew any money from Paris, nor 
from many provinces ; and, as kings hâve this in 
common with other men, " that they are only esteemed 
according to the wealth which they are seen topossess," 
a number of courtiers were quite ready to change sides, 
because they saw his Majesty's affairs in great disorder. 
M. le Prince could not fail to see their state of mind, 
for he had many allies amongst them, from whom he 
perpetually received news, but as he also had fair 
friands, and ones who were much nearer his heart 
than anything else, he left his army to the Duc de 
Nemours, and went to see them at Paris. 

His Eminence, who could hâve had no greater 
pièce of good fortune than to see this prince départ, 
for he feared him personally more than the whole of 
his army, was enchanted to know that he was in the 
arms of his mistresses. He thought, as indeed seemed 
very likely, that this would give him time, especially 


as he was leaving the command of his troops to a 
prince who was no less amorous than himself. Both 
indeed were in love with the same lady, but with this 
différence that, although the two of them had given 
their hearts to the Duchesse de Châtillon, one was a 
far more faithful lover than the other. The Prince de 
Condé was but a flighty swain, who amused himself 
with flitting from flower to flower, whilst the duc 
took his passion seriously. Ail the same his mistress 
was not worth such a thing. She had, so to speak, " as 
many lovers as there are days in a year," and if one 
were to replace reliance on scandalous reports, she was 
much of the same disposition as the Prince de Condé. 
Although she had a greater fancy for the Duc de 
Nemours than for anyone else, this did not prevent her 
from turning a willing ear to ail who wished to make 
love to her. She and the duc had often exchanged 
rough words on this subject — to the extent even of 
wanting to leave one another. However, this prince's 
affection for her was so great that, in spite of his being 
as it were certain of his misfortunes, she made him 
believe quite the contrary, whenever she cared to take 
the trouble. 

Lucky would it hâve been for M. le Prince, had the 
duchess been the only woman who deceived him ! At 
least, he would hâve been able to hâve returned to 
take the command of his army, and give the Cardinal 
fresh trouble. However, his other mistresses having 
treated him worse than she had done, by merely 
granting him their favours, he found himself in con- 
séquence so incommoded that he was obliged to place 
himself in the hands of the surgeons. He concealed 
this misfortune under the guise of the necessity, which 


he made people believe called him to Paris. The 
Parlement was sitting there as usual, and the return 
of the Cardinal had put that body into such a bad 
temper with him, that, as I hâve already said, they 
were fulminating some terrible decrees against his 
person. One of them laid down the price of his 
head at fifty thousand crowns. Another ordered the 
sale of his library, so that that sum might always 
be ready for the man who should commit this murder. 
No minister could hâve Deen more severely handled, 
and as he had often heard speak of the Maréchal 
d'Ancre,^ this last blow really made him wish to return 
to Italy. The fear of meeting with his fate made him 
speak to the Queen, whose courage was of quite a 
différent sort from his own, since the least thing made 
him tremble, and her Majesty (who, on the contrary, 
only became more resolute as she perceived a danger 
growing greater) told him to take courage. She made 
use of the most expressive terms possible to persuade 
him, even to the extent of saying that his business was 
her own, but, as people are much more easily preserved 
from danger than fear, he continued to be in such 
a plight that he would willingly hâve hidden himself 
had he dared. The Queen was obliged (seeing he was 
not reassured by her words) to make the Vicomte de 
Turenne give him an assurance that the Parlement was 
not in a state to do him the harm he was afraid of. 
His Eminence might perhaps hâve thought something 
of this, had the vicomte been always at hand with his 
army ; but, as this gênerai had business elsewhere, he 
had scarcely gone away v/hen the Cardinal resolved to 
ask the Queen for leave to départ. 

I The Maréchal d'Ancre was assassinated in the reign of 
Louis XIII. with the connivance of that monarch. 



Meanwhile, his Eminence conceived the idea of 
offering one of his nièces to the Vicomte de Turenne, 
to induce him to utilise ail his military knowledge to 
extricate him from his wretched plight. He trembled 
lest he should once more déclare himself against his 
sovereign, the more so as his eldest brother was at 
présent in arms against him in the Province of Bor- 
deaux. Naturally suspicious, he was not sure whether 
the two brothers had not some understanding, and if 
he ought not to be afraid of his turning his back, when 
his help might be most necessary. He communicated 
his ideas to Navailles, who at once encouraged him 
in them, thinking this would be a good thing for the 
Vicomte de Turenne, who as yet had neither office nor 
governorship, such as he soon afterwards obtained. 
He even undertook to mention the subject to him, 
hoping that, as he himself followed the career of arms, 
this gênerai (who ought to be grateful to him for 
arranging this marriage) would prove his gratitude 
when they should meet. The Cardinal accepted his 
offers, so that the proposai was duly made. At that 
time the Vicomte de Turenne was a good Huguenot,^ 
and thinking that he ought not to marry a woman of 
a différent faith from his own, although this was common 
enough at the time, he replied to Navailles that he 
was much obliged to the Cardinal for the honour 
he wanted to confer upon him, but the sensitiveness 
of his conscience prevented his being able to profit by 
it. This answer, which was not that of a courtier 
(whose custom is to hâve no religion at ail whenever 
his prosperity is concerned), alarmed the Cardinal 

I Turenne became a Catholic in the 3'ear 1668. 


more than ever. He at once thought that the vicomte 
was only rejecting this alliance with him because he 
had a more délicate conscience than Cardinal de 
Richelieu, who had made no difficulties about making 
the Duc de Puilaurens perish by causing him to marry 
his relative. He thought, I repeat, that he did not 
want to be accused, like him, of having made this 
marriage, the better to catch a man he wanted to ruin. 
Accordingly, growing more and more imbued with this 
idea, he began to look so askance at the gênerai, that 
the latter thought himself obliged to speak to the 
Queen about it. Meantime, as he believed that ail 
this originated only from what had passed betvveen 
Navailles and himself, he was obliged to tell her, so 
that she might the better appreciate his reasons. The 
Queen, who was very devout and who resembled the 
vicomte in believing that it was a very good thing for 
two people of différent religions not to marry, bade 
him calm his mind and she would bring his Eminence 
to reason. She did, indeed, speak to him about it, 
and as this minister liked to get some good out of 
everything, he replied that, if he entertained any 
irritation against the gênerai, it was only by reason 
of his interests. When, said he, he had caused a 
marriage with one of his nièces to be proposed to 
him, it was not because of his great wealth or of the 
splendid establishment he could give her. He knew 
what the fortune of a cadet of the house of Bouillon 
was ; but, as in the présent state of affairs, when 
everybody was glorying in being false to their word, 
he deemed that it would be advantageous to her 
Majesty to make sure of him, he had tried in this 
way to so thoroughly secure him, that, no matter 



what others might propose to him, he would not be 
ready to accept it. 

Charles IL, King of England, had been unable, 
since his father's sad death, to find any means of re- 
mounting the throne. Not that he had gone to sleep. 
He had been trying to arm ail his subjects in order to 
revenge the terrible parricide which had taken place, 
but this had only served to increase his misfortunes. 
As there were but few faithful to him, he had been 
either so feebly seconded, or so ill served, that, after 
having risked a great battle, he had had a good deal 
of trouble to save himself from the hands of the rebels. 
Eventually, after unheard-of sufferings and running a 
risk, the mère recollection of which makes one tremble, 
he had passed over into France, as to a place where 
he might hope to find safer asylum than anywhere 
else. As he was the son of a daughter of France, this 
alone seemed to him enough to banish ail fears. 
Moreover, he knew that the French prided themselves 
on succouring the unfortunate and oppressed like 
himself, Nor had he been deceived in thèse hopes. 
He had found not only the King and Queen, but also 
the whole people just as much touched by his mis- 
fortunes as they could hâve been by their own. 
Consequently, he had thought himself bound to be 
grateful to everyone, and as, in the troublous state in 
which the country was, we needed, just as he himself 
did, people to alleviate our miseries, he had employed 
himself in this so usefully at the time when the Duc 
de Lorraine held the Vicomte de Turenne as it were 
in his hands, that it was he to whom a debt of gratitude 
was due for having extricated that gênerai from the 
predicament in which he was. Yet Charles 11. was 


but twenty one — an âge when most people are unfitted 
for carrying on negotiations ! Hovvever, as he had 
been brought up in adversity, he had learnt more in a 
year than anyone else would hâve done in several 
years ; so, still continuing to be desirous of proving 
his gratitude towards a crown to which he deemed he 
vvas under an obligation, he entered the army, where 
he served in person, just as the humblest soldier 
might hâve done. 

The civil war having ended, the Queen thought of 
nothing else but making the Cardinal return. He vvas 
bored to death at Sedan, indeed, boredom was his 
most serions malady. Accordingly, no sooner did he 
know that the Parlement had concluded peace, than of 
a sudden he found himself resuscitated. He no longer 
spoke at ail of still being unvi^ell, and, on the contrary, 
looking into affairs on the frontier where he was, the 
Queen exaggerated this activity of his to everybody, 
declaring that without him the Prince de Condé would 
certainly hâve gained other victories besides those he 
had just done. This opened the eyes of ail those who 
had wished to blind themselves. The Cardinal de 
Retz was wild with fury and rage to find himself so 
grossly tricked ! Hovvever, as his mistake was now 
not to be remedied, and as there vvas no one who was 
in a mood to espouse his interests to such an extent as 
to recommence the war for his sake, he was obliged 
to angrily " champ his bit." The Queen discovered 
that he was attempting varions manœuvres and various 
plots, with a view to replunging the State into the 
troubles out of which it had but just emerged. This 
obliged her to think more than ever of having him 
arrested, and perhaps she would at once hâve done so 


in spite of the Cardinal's advice, had he not added to 
what he had already told her, " that the pear was not 
yet ripe," and that, before culHng it, she ought to 
aHenate from the Cardinal de Retz his principal friends 
in the Parlement. Did she not make sure of things in 
this quarter, there was danger of the Court of Rome 
wanting to interfère ; for, more often than not, it was 
wont to meddle where it had no business. His 
Eminence (Mazarin) had concluded by saying that, 
although her Majesty was only responsible for her 
conduct to God and to the King, her son, the Court 
in question aspired to looking into everything which 
had any référence to the persons of the Cardinals. 
One ought to deliver oneself from enemies at home 
before drawing strangers upon oneself; for, when 
attacked at home and abroad, it was but by a kind of 
miracle that any résistance could be made. 

The Queen placed faith in his advice, and tried to 
win the Parlement over, before carrying out the résolve 
she had formed as to his Eminence (De Retz). She 
won over some members of that body by fair words, 
and having softened by présents those who appeared 
to désire something more substantial than words, so 
as to thoroughly assure their fidelity, she was soon in 
a position to exécute her plans. This was highly 
necessary to re-establish tranquillity in the realm, and 
to repuise the Spaniards, who had just retaken Grave- 
hnes and Dunkirk once more. Besides, it was quite 
obvious that the Cardinal in question, with a mind as 
uneasy and turbulent as his, was not able to keep 
himself quiet. His ambition was entirely alien to his 
character, and ail who knew him declared that no one 
was more unfitted to govern a kingdom than he. For, 


very far from possessing that coolness which is 
absolutely essentiai for such an important undertaking, 
he had such an extraordinary temper that he would 
lose control of himself, if he entertained the least idea 
that he had grounds for being angry. But what 
further made it more apparent that there was a 
stronger reason than this for making sure of his 
person was, that it seemed as it were impossible for 
him not to create disturbances as long as he was at 
liberty. Further, he was ruined, because he had 
already spent so much to succeed in his plans as to 
hâve no other means of repairing the ravages he had 
made in his fortune, but by occupying the position 
he had so long coveted. He owed nearly three 
millions, and it was thus that a man, the duties of 
whose office obliged him to point out to others that 
it was wrong to be ambitions or to harm one's 
neighbour, had strayed away from a morality so holy 
and so true ! He had let himself drift into this state, 
because, from his disposition, he saw nothing which 
could make him happy but the government of the 
kingdom. Be this as it may, the Queen, having 
exactly followed the advice of Cardinal Mazarin, 
contrived by her prudence to conduct matters to such 
a state of maturity, that, before two fnonths were over, 
she found herself in a position not only to hâve the 
Cardinal de Retz arrested, but also to make her 
minister return. Mazarin was désirons that the one 
should précède the other, that is to say, that the 
person of his rival should be secured before his own 
return was discussed. He thought that there were 
two reasons which rendered this absolutely necessary. 
The one was that, if by chance her Majesty should 


chance to fail in her stroke, and the Parlement 
should view her attempt with disfavour, he would be 
obliged to leave the kingdom for a third time, were 
he to hâve corne back. The other reason was, that 
people would not attack him about it so much if he 
was not on the spot (although there might perhaps 
be a suspicion as to his being the author of the 
business) as if he were at the moment head of her 
Majesty's Council. The first of thèse reasons was 
fairly good, and one might even add that, should the 
populace rise in conséquence of the arrest, he need 
hâve no fear of its laying hands on him, since he was 
out of its powers where he now was. But as to the 
other, it was so weak that it did not deserve to make 
the least impression on his mind, Although he was 
away from the Court, it was not necessary to know 
very much about what was happening not to feel sure 
that ail the blâme would fall upon him. Accordingly, 
présent or absent, he might feel certain that ail the 
good and ail the harm would be laid to his charge. 
His précautions in this direction were then very use- 
less, and even so out of place that, had he made his 
delicacy known, ail who might hear about it would 
hâve been more likely to laugh at it rather than give 
their approval. 

The Queen, who concerned herself much less in 
looking into everything than in foUowing her inclina- 
tions, did as he told her, and having caused the 
Cardinal de Retz to be arrested, no one made any 
disturbance because, though people clearly saw that 
the deprivation of his liberty announced the speedy 
return of Cardinal Mazarin, they were so pleased 
at having a taste of peace, that they did not want. 


by undertaking fresh things, to lose a benefit of 
which they had been deprived too long for their own 
comfort. Besides, as the prisoner had never played 
any other part than one exactly opposite to that 
which he should hâve done, the love borne him was 
so slight that no one worried about what had hap- 
pened to him. He was conducted to Vincennes and 
placed in the same room which the Duc de Beaufort 
had escaped from some time back. However, such 
stringent orders were issued for care to be taken that 
he did not do the same thing, that he soon saw that, 
while thèse orders were carried out with as much 
exactitude as they then were, any attempt of his 
would be useless. 

Some days later, the Marquis de Vieuville chanced 
to die, and as it was the first day of the year 1653, 
between four and five o'clock in the morning, his 
Suisse (porter) was so saddened at the thought of not 
getting any New Year's présents, that he would hâve 
hung himself had he not been prevented. He was 
discovered to hâve already gone in search of a rope, 
but someone having noticed his despair, people tried 
to calm his mind. This was very difficult with a 
Suisse who recognised no other God but money ! 
However, a person cleverer than other people hav- 
ing promised to get him into the service of whoever 
might succeed to the post of Surintendant, the 
porter eventually consoled himself for his loss with 
the hope of a greater profit. The post was divided 
between Servient and M. Fouquet, Procureur-Général 
of the Parlement of Paris. It was given to the latter 
as a reward for the services which he had rendered 
to his Eminence in his company during the civil war. 


As to the other, he obtained it because the Cardinal 
reckoned that he would make him do everything he 
wanted, and to speak frankly, he would only be his 
clerk. Accordingly, he gave him ail the best of the 
post of Surintendant, whilst he left the other ail the 
unpleasant portion. He gave the power of " lier et 
délier,"^ to Servient, that is to say, of delivering 
bills, or, to speak more plainly, having them paid 
whenever he chose, for we were then at a time, when 
his Majesty's wanting to do good to someone availed 
nothing, if the Surintendant des Finances did not 
approve of it. Whatever bill one might hâve, it was 
but a song, unless it was passed by the minister in 
question. I am well aware that this procédure still 
prevails to-day, but there is this différence between 
then and now, that at présent, once a bill is issued, 
everything works automatically without one's being 
obliged to pass through the hands of a number of 
blood-suckers, which in thosc days were quite inévit- 
able. Cardinal Mazarin was himself one of thèse 
blood-suckers, and even one of the most cruel, so 
much so that, when he had caused one of thèse bills 
not to be met, a thing which often happened, he 
would send out emissaries to arrange the price he 
would let it pass at. He knew very well how to get 
paid afterwards, and it is by means of this charming 
profession that he acquired a portion of the immense 
riches he left to his heirs at his death. 

Nothing of importance occurred between the im- 
prisonment of Cardinal de Retz and the return of 
Mazarin, except the death I hâve just spoken of. The 

I " Lier et délier," really an ecclesiastical term, meaning 
•' to give or refuse absolution," though hère used in the sensé of 
•' holding control over the finances. 


King went to meet this minister, to whom he deemed 
himself under an obligation, because he was given to 
understand that everything he did was but in his 
interests. As he was not yet of an âge to know how 
to discern between his good servants and his bad ones, 
he of necessity had to rely on those who should hâve 
known them better than himself. Everybody hastened 
to pay his court to the minister, well divining that he 
was about to become more powerful than ever. I did 
the same thing as the others, because, after having 
been his servant as I had been, I did not see how I 
could reasonably get out of doing so. However, I 
avoided those transports which savoured more of the 
slave than of a grateful man, so much so that I let 
those who were in the greatest hurry go before I 
myself went. The Cardinal reproached me for this, 
upon which, not being much astonished, I answered 
him that ail those in whom he observed so much 
eagerness would hâve done just the same thing for 
his enemies, had they found means to overcome him. 
As for myself, who did things in quite a single-minded 
way, and without humbug, there were a thousand more 
reasons for relying upon my fidelity than on ail their 
simperings. Upon this he at once said to me : 

" Artagnan, I did not know the French before I 
governed them, but the Spaniards hâve great reason 
for caUing them rogues. There is nothing one cannot 
make them do for money, and even by the mère hope 
of making a fortune. Formerly, I imagined that it 
was the nation of the world most worthy of being 
esteemed ; what further gave me this opinion was, 
that I saw people resisting Cardinal Richelieu with ail 
their strength. However, if I am to judge those times 


by thèse, they were certainly his enemies, only because 
he would not buy them. A few pistoles, more or less, 
would hâve attained his object ; and this is the idea I 
shall always hold until such time as I shall hâve 
discovered someone who is either clever or honourable 
man enough to disillusion me." 

I did not like his entertaining such a bad opinion of 
a kingdom where there are so many brave and honest 
people. It seemed to me unjust, as well as full of 
ingratitude, coming from him who had entered France 
as much a beggar as any painter, and who had already 
married one of his nièces to a grandson of Henri the 
Great ! For eventually, notwithstanding the obstacle 
which the Prince de Condé had wanted to put in the 
way of the marriage of the Duc de Mercoeur with a 
Mancini, the duc had taken this step, although ail his 
enemies had secretly told him that he was about to 
contract a marriage which would bring him no honour. 
To dissuade him, they had even tried to insinuate that 
the position of the Cardinal was as yet so ill established 
that it wanted a mère nothing to upset it. However, 
either because he was in love with his nièce, or because 
he thought everything he heard about this originated 
merely from jealousy, he carried out the match m 
spite of everything they could say. It even seemed as 
if his father would refuse to give his consent — a cir- 
cumstance which made him adopt the course of 
marrying her secretly. Nevertheless, whatever face 
the Duc de Vendôme pulled, he was one of those 
people of whom the Cardinal had spoken. He made 
himself the slave of money, and therefore he was not 
so particular about the matter as he wished people to 
think. Consequently, no one could dissuade those 


who flattered themselves on knowing things frcm a 
good source, that ail his son did was not done in 
concert with himself. Nevertheless, he did not wish 
this idea to prevail when the Cardinal returned to tha 
Court. He withdrew, as if displeased at his coming 
into favour, but this was only to play his game the 
better with him, so much so, that his anger entirely 
cooled down, when he saw himself offered the post of 
Admirai which for a long time he had wished for. His 
Eminence made no further difficulty about disposing 
of it, now that the Prince de Condé had gone away. 
He was well aware that, after what he had done, he 
would not care to return so quickly to heap reproaches 
on his head. 



S I disapproved (as I hâve just said) of the 
liberty his Eminence was taking in insulting 
our nation, I asked him if he did not exclude 
Treville from the bad opinion he held about 
it. It seemed to me that the latter had never 
by his conduct given any cause for being 
numbered amongst the people he had just 
mentioned. At least, one could not say that he had 
made himself the slave either of Cardinal Richeheu or 
any other man, since he had never been willing to give 
way to anyone else than his king. I told the Cardinal 
that he, more than others, was able to judge of this, 
for Treville had made a stand against him just as 
much as against Richelieu, and had preferred having 
his career wrecked to showing himself complaisant 
towards him. 

The Cardinal, in reply, ansvvered that there I was 
quoting an instance of a fool who only deserved to be 
excluded from human society. Indeed, just as there 
was a meanness in paying homage indiscriminately to 
ever.vbody, so was there a madness in refusing it to 


him whose due it vvas. Consequently, when Treville 
had dared to resist both Richelieu and himself, he had 
shown himself more fit for the mad-house than for the 
praise which I was trying to bestow upon him. When- 
ever a man was of real worth (as I had declared the 
individual we were discussing to be), he based the 
whole of his conduct upon prudence, and, as prudence 
demanded that one should bend to whoever was in 
power, Treville had been wrong every time he had not 
done so. The Cardinal added, that perhaps he was 
not entirely without some feelings of repentance for 
this behaviour, and that, were I to speak the truth, I 
would own that he had spoken on the subject to me. 
Even were this not the case, he knew very well that 
he had spoken thus to someone else. He was very 
glad to casually mention this, so as to teach me that 
he had been right to accuse him of being a lunatic. 
Of this I could not doubt after what he had just told 
me, since Treville had himself admitted that he was a 
regular madman, when he accused himself, as he had 
done, of being the sole cause of his own disgrâce. 

I did not like to contradict him, although, from my 
knowledge of the character of Treville, I entertained 
strong doubts as to his being capable of doing what 
was imputed to him. I was afraid of upsetting the 
Cardinal, were I to freely speak my mind ; so, pre- 
ferring to talk about someone else, I asked him if 
Marigny, who had greviously offended him, though he 
had never given him cause, must also be counted 
amongst the slaves to whom he had referred. I added 
that I did not think that this at ail events was the 
case, for hère was a man who (instead of paying 


homage to him, as he declared ail Frenchmen vied 
with one another to do) had showered a quantity of 
insults upon him. As a matter of fact, neither I myself 
nor any respectable person approved of such behaviour; 
so I would not take this particular instance to concoct 
a hero, on whose model I would advise no one to 
mould himself. Much rather did I consider him a 
slanderer and a regular lunatic ; but anyhow, whatever 
he was, he was always consistent and not what the 
Cardinal had said. Marigny had no turn for flattery, 
having a much greater one for satire. 

This Marigny was a man who, from joyousness 
of heart, and without ever having had anything to do 
with the Cardinal, had taken pleasure in writing 
scandalous verses against his ministry and person. 
As one pleases people more by satire than any other 
form of writing whatsoever, this had been the only 
thing necessary to gain him not only friends but a 
réputation for cleverness besides. Thèse friends, 
nevertheless, were not like a captain of the régiment 
de la marine, whom his Eminence some time later 
caused to be thrown into the Bastille, for having 
criticised his conduct, but in a serious way, as is 
usual amongst respectable people. This captain, being 
in prison, told those who thought to please him by 
abusing the minister, that, were it not that he feared 
being called a flatterer, he would tell them that they 
were not speaking the truth. Truth should be en- 
closed in certain limits, and whoever overstepped 
thèse was a slanderer, rather than a truthful man. 

But to return to my subject. The Cardinal, per- 
ceiving that I went on to cite Marigny as an example, 
capable of confuting what he had told me, replied that 


in that case, I was speaking of a man whom we should 
wipe out from the human race by reason of his evil 
tongue. He would willingly ask him what he had 
done to cause him to tear him to pièces in his satires 
as he did. He saw nothing strange in a person's 
being in a rage with an individual who had given 
him cause for displeasure. Nature always had a 
leaning towards vengeance, and when one was unable 
to give one's enemy a sword-thrust, one was often 
delighted to give him a " lash of the tongue." Marigny, 
however, whom he had never done good nor harm to, 
could only be regarded as a monster thirsting for 
blood, against whom everyone ought to déclare him- 
self. In conséquence, I had cited another bad 
instance in the same way as I had Treville, because 
a monster and a fool, as both were, must not be 
reckoned amongst men. 

This was ail I could get out of the Cardinal, and as 
I knew very well that it would not be sensible to dis- 
pute with a greater man than oneself, I agreed to ail 
he wished. Nevertheless, I could not let his first con- 
tention pass, deeming that he had wrongly insulted 
our nation. I know not if my yielding, or my 
character, which was différent from the one he had 
just attributed to other people (but which he could 
not attribute to me), gained me his favour, but 
eventually he told me that, although he had admitted 
no exception to his indictment, he was yet obliged 
to own that I was not like the people he had just 
spoken of. I had, he continued, never paid him 
court except as an honourable man should, and, 
although there were many people who, in his place, 
would like others to grovel before them, he well 

VOL. II 6 


knew how to distinguish between what arose from 
a free and right submission, and what was done 
through baseness. He bade me take care to continue 
to live as I had begun, and he would remember me 
at the right time and place. I should hâve been 
delighted at thèse promises, had I not known that too 
much trust must not be placed in them. Besides, 
I perceived him so eagar for riches, as not to be able 
to flatter myself that he would bestow them on anyone 
else, especially as ail was fish that came to his 
net. In the meantime, as he was in a position 
to assist people when he wanted to, I sought for 
something which would cost him nothing, and which 
might make my fortune. Some days later, I was 
told that a Portuguese, Dom Lopes by name, who 
dealt in precious stones, had just died suddenly 
without ever having been naturalised. I asked him 
for the "confiscation "^ of his fortune, which certainly 
amounted to one hundred thousand crowns. This 
Dom Lopes was well enough known at Court for ail 
its frequenters to be aware that he possessed a good 
deal of property. The Cardinal, to whom he had often 
sold precious stones, knew this just as well as myself, 
and perhaps better than others, for it was a peculiar 
characteristic of his, that, directly he was told that 
anyone was well off, he wanted to know ail the ins 
and outs, so that he might become his heir, whenever 
occasion should présent itself. Accordingly, having 
too good an appetite himself to bestow such a choice 

I " Confiscation." The fortune of a non-naturalised foreigner 
at this time went to the King. This and other laws relating to 
the disposition of the property left by foreigners were ouly 
suppressed by a decree of August 6th, 1790. 


morsel on another, he without hésitation replied, that 
he was sorry that I had not been ^the first to come and 
ask him this favour. He would, he said, hâve been 
charmed to procure it for me, but, having let myself 
be anticipated by someone else, the thing was already 
done. Dom Lopes lodged at the house of one of my 
private friends, who had given me the news. He had 
died on his return from town, and, as his host wanted 
to oblige me and himself as well, because I had pro- 
mised him that, if he was able to discover anything 
vvhich I could ask for, we would divide it together, he 
had hastened to me without losing a moment. I 
therefore knew that nobody could be aware of what 
I had just announced to the Cardinal, which making 
me divine his evil intention, " Monseigneur," said I, "you 
accused the French sorae days ago of being great 
cowards ; allow me to tell you, no matter what interest 
you may take in the nation which I now hâve to indict 
before your Eminence, that the Italians are great 
rascals. Dom Lopes' landlord, who is a countryman 
of yours, has this moment told me that his tenant has 
just fallen dead in his rooms, and that he had at once 
set off to come and let me know, after having ordered 
his wife not to divulge a word of this news to any- 
one, before I should hâve spoken to you about it. 
Nevertheless, your Eminence clearly perceives how 
impudently he has lied to me, since you are not only 
already informed as to this death, but further, the 
favour he urged me to go and beg of you is also granted 
to someone." 

The Cardinal, when he had heard me accuse his 
nation of rascality, had blushed, either from anger or 
shame. He had believed, as many others in his place 


would hâve done, and as indeed was the truth, that 
my words only referred to himself, but, being delighted 
at the ending I had just given to them, he repHed that 
he was not surprised that the Abbé Undedei, who was 
the man who had asked him for this " confiscation," 
should hâve had news oî it sooner than myself. My 
ItaHan, added he, had done for another ItaHan what 
he did not think he ought to do for a Frenchman. 
This was natural enough, but even had it not been the 
case, he would not venture to maintain that there were 
not rascals of his nation just as well as of others.- In 
ail countries there were good and bad people. Ail the 
same, he was sorry that this had happened exactly to 
my préjudice, but another occasion would be found to 
oblige me when I least expected it, and a better one 
perhaps than this was. 

The abbé he meant was a man who, to depict him 
as he really was, served him as trustée in many things. 
He already had several bénéfices in his name, and 
whenever there was some windfall Hke this, which he 
did not wish to appear to enrich himself with, he 
immediately gave it to him. He knew very well that 
Vie would return it, and that, thus escaping the public 
hatred, he would none the less hâve what he wanted. 
This abbé, who was in the secret, was always quite 
ready to déclare that he had asked the Cardinal for 
anything, although often he had not heard a word 
about it. I therefore calculated that it would be 
useless for me to question him on the subject, the 
more so as, even where he in a mood (which he was 
not) to confess the whole thing, I should not hâve got 
much good by so doing. What was said was said, 
and the Cardinal was not the man to retract the words 


he had spoken, since his interests were concerned. 
In the meantime, his Eminence, being afraid that I 
should not stop there, and that I should ask him the 
truth, thought he ought to warn him. He instructed 
him as to what had happened with référence to myself, 
and that, were I by chance to speak of it, he must not 
fail to put me on the wrong scent, as he himself had 
done. He told him further, that I was in a great rage 
with the landlord of Dom Lopes, and that I believed 
that he had deceived me ; consequently, he was to 
confirm me in this idea, because, in spite of its being 
an unimportant matter that he should justify himself 
to me, or let me believe ail I liked, yet, as it was 
always a good thing to possess the esteem of everybody 
and especially when it cost but a few words, he thought 
proper to use his best endeavours. The abbé had 
been to see Dom Lopes several times at the house 
where he died, and knowing that his landlord was not 
an Italian, as I had declared to the Cardinal, (but as I 
had been pleased to tell him, to give some outlet to 
my resentment), he replied that my daring, in having 
presumed to speak as I had done, had been unequalled. 
What I had said about his nation, I had meant to tell 
him about himself. For a young fellow like myself, 
this was the height of insolence, and, if he would 
listen to him, he would banish me far away from the 
Court. This would teach me my duty another time, 
and respect towards those whose due it was. The 
Cardinal did not trouble so much about any affronts 
which might be put upon him as about his private 
interests. I had spoken to him, some days before, 
about a post which he had to sell, and for which I had 
found a bargainer who wanted to give him ten thousand 


francs more than other people offered ; thinking, there- 
fore, that he might very well miss this stroke of business, 
if he let loose his anger as he was advised to do, he 
made reply to the abbé, that there were certain things 
which a minister ought to prétend to ignore, and others 
which he could not pass over in silence without im- 
perilHng his authority. Those which he might prétend 
to ignore were principally when admission of a know- 
ledge of them was a proof of one's bad faith. He could 
not, said he, hâve me exiled without everyone's knowing 
the reason. I myself would be the first to tell every- 
body, and, the matter being in no way to his advantage, 
it was better to prétend ignorance than to purchase 
satisfaction by the loss of one's réputation. The abbé 
(who was a man of the very character which the 
Cardinal had painted our nation to me as possessing), 
hearing him speak like this, thought it best not to 
reply. He agreed to everything he wished, and, the 
better to pay him court, told him that by this he was 
showing himself worthy of the position he occupied, 
and that, even in the smallest things, he shone beyond 
anything he could express. Finally, he declared his 
reasoning to be so clever and subtle, that he had not the 
least Word to urge against ail that he had propounded. 
It had not been the fault of the abbé, as we hâve just 
seen, that I had not been hopelessly ruined ; for, when 
one is once banished from Court, and especially 
through such a thing as this, it is very rare that a 
person can ever return. My own good luck, or rather 
the avarice of his Eminence had saved me ; but, as 
there are people who, when they, so to speak, stab 
you, want you to be grateful to them, this abbé told 
me two days later at Court, whcre I found myself 


alone with him, that he advised me to thank him, for, 
had he been less my friend than he was, he might 
hâve done me a terribly bad turn with the Cardinal. 
I was quite unable, at first, to understand what his 
meaning might be. I did not suspect that his 
Eminence had told him of what I had said ; so, 
begging him to let me know in what way he had 
served me, so that my gratitude might be proportion- 
ate to the good he had done me, he replied that it 
was ail very well for me to prétend not to know, but 
I was not so ignorant as I wished to appear. I must 
remember that I had passed o£f the landlord of Dom 
Lopes as an Italian. There was no need to say any 
more, for my natural quickness, which he well knew, 
would not now make it a difficult thing for me to 
divine everything else ! I certainly did now guess 
what had happened, at least a portion of it — but not 
ail of it as it had occurred ; for, had I done so, I 
should not hâve failed to thank the abbé for the trick 
he had tried to play me. This he richly deserved; 
for, after having wanted to ruin me as he had 
attempted to do, he wished in addition, that I should 
thank him for not having done so ! I will let the 
world judge after this, if I was wrong in accusing his 
nation of rascality ; and, even had it not already been 
suspected of it (as it was), his conduct alone was 
enough to give it such a réputation. Be this as it may, 
being not only unaware to what extent he deserved to 
be despised and scorned, but even believing, as he 
wished me to do, that I owed him a debt of gratitude, 
I praised him as he was very far from deserving. 
Nevertheless, as I knew his dévotion to the person of 
the Cardinal, I took good care not to show my irrita- 


tion before him, as I might perhaps hâve done before 
anyone else. On the contrary, I told him that the 
words of which his Eminence had had reason to com- 
plain had escaped me thoughtJessly, and that I had not 
been long in feeling sorry I had uttered them, since 
they had no sooner left my lips, than I would hâve 
wished for many reasons to hâve recalled them. 

I deemed it best to speak thus in a moderate way 
before him, although I really still thought what I had 
told the minister. I continued to see the Cardinal as 
usual, well knowing that I must not give way to my 
angry feelings to such an extent as to do myself harm 
by discontinuing to pay him court. He spoke afresh 
to me of the bargain I had tried to make for him, in 
which rather an obstacle had arisen. The individual 
who wanted the post, which he wished to sell, was a 
young man of great expectations, whose mother was 
still alive. She was the widow of a conseiller of the 
Parlement, and as she would hâve much preferred him 
to embrace his father's profession than become a 
hanger-on of the Court, she had had her son informed 
that she would disinherit him and would even marry 
again herself, should he not do her bidding. I told 
the Cardinal of what was going on, and as his own 
interests were concerned, he became very alert. " Ail of 
you," said he to me, " are always looking for people to 
give you advice, which most frequently kills your soûl 
and body by making you pursue shadows. Not 
one out of a hundred of thèse pièces of advice 
succeeds, but what will you give me if I bestow a 
pièce on you which will make your fortune ?" I could 
not divine what he meant by this, and finding that it 
bore no référence to the conversation we were having, 


it appeared queer to me that a man who, in such a 
position as his, should be an example of wisdom and 
prudence, should diverge from his subject to such an 
extent as to make those discussing it with him lose 
sight of it. Accordingly, not being able to conceal my 
astonishment, but doing so in respectful terms, and 
ones which could not draw upon me the treatment the 
Abbé Undedei had recommended, he replied that I 
was no Gascon ; I must hâve been changed at nurse, 
for the Gascons had a keener pénétration than I, who 
had not only not even dreamt of what he now wanted 
to tell me, but who yet did not understand it, though 
it ought to appear as clear as daylight to me. 

No sooner did I hear the Cardinal reproach me thus, 
than I began to carefully ponder over what he could 
mean by ail this. But, being obliged to admit my 
ignorance in spite of ail my thinking, " Poor man," 
rejoined he, '* go and hide yourself, since you do not 
understand that what I want to tell you is, that what 
you ought to do is to marry that widow and profit by 
this présent chance of making your fortune. Go and 
see her from me, and tell her that I beseech her to 
agrée to her son's treating with me about the post I 
want to sell him ; further, that he will be sent back to 
school, if ever he présents himself for a councillorship ; 
that he himself has owned to you that, instead of 
going to study law, his only care has been to go and 
play tennis and haunt the taverns. Tell her that this 
is a bad disposition out of which to make a good 
judge, and that, consequently, she must not mind 
seeing him adopt a career in which he will succeed 
better than in the one she wishes him to embrace. 
You may add that I am ready to grant her my pro- 


tection and also be useful to her when occasion may 
arise." The Cardinal went on to say that I must put 
on my smartest clothes to pay this visit. As the 
widow vvas already inclined to remarry, if her son took 
this post (or most probably this was but a pretext she 
was making use of to avoid unfavourable criticism), I 
should soon make an impression upon her. People 
should help themselves, if they wanted to make their 
fortunes, for good luck did not always corne to look 
for those in need of it ! He jokingly added that 
he asked for no fee for his advice, except the arrang- 
ing of his bargain. 

I considered that he was not now reasoning too 
badly, and having promised that I would follow his 
advice, I dressed myself as smartly as possible and went 
to see the widow. She listened to the speech I made 
her on behalf of his Eminence in accordance with his 
instructions, and at once answered me that, although 
she would much like to please him, she could, neverthe- 
less, not do so now. She could not sanction her son's 
abandoning the profession of his father ; if even he did 
so, I might tell him she would at once marry again. 
Thèse words were not lost on me. I rejoined that, as 
it was more right to side with fathers and mothers 
against their children than with children against 
fathers and mothers, I presented myself to her to 
carry out her revenge ; her son was most certainly 
resolved to go his own way in this affair, no matter 
what obstacles she might place in his path ; so, if she 
wanted to make him quickly repent of his foolish 
behaviour, she could not lind any man who would 
embrace her interests so ardently as myself. At the 
same time, I told her a lot of things about her 


beauty which, as a matter of fact, was not great. 
In former years, indeed, she might hâve been beautiful, 
for it is a common saying that " the Devil was hand- 
some as a young man." Nevertheless, I did not approve 
of this comparison ; but, if it bas been made, it is only 
to impress upon us that what one may find ugly at a 
certain time need not always bave been so. Indeed, 
as this lady had a son of from twenty-five to twenty-six 
years old, and as the mother of such a son can no 
longer lay claim to be a beauty, at least with any 
chance of being beheved, she might well bave told me 
to go and pour out my stories somewhere else, had she 
chanced to be in a mood to do herself justice. Never- 
theless, whether the Cardinal had hit the right nail on 
the head, when he had told me that she only wanted 
some pretext to marry, or that I seemed to her none 
too badly made and so aroused her desires, she did not 
remonstrate against my offers so severely as to give 
me grounds for despair. On the contrary, she softened 
like a woman who would bave much liked me to be 
speaking the truth. She did not of course tell me this, 
but, as there are things which one understands by 
silence just as well as if they were formally explained, 
I made no fuss about asking permission to pay her a 
second visit. This she consented to, without my 
being obhged to be too pressing — a further circum- 
stance which made me perceive that my affair was 
going on none too badly. 

In the meantime, she wanted to know who I was. 
I satisfied her curiosity, and noticed that she was 
enchanted when I had told her my name, and that I 
was a lieutenant in the Guards. Apparently she had 
been afraid that I was some adventurer, a kind of 


person who abounded around his Eminence. This 
made our conversation last some time, and, seeing 
that she was taking an interest in it, I told her every- 
thing I could, to give her a good opinion of my rank 
and myself. Not that it is ever seemly for a man to 
praise himself, it had much better corne from some- 
one else than oneself ; however, I deemed, if ever such 
a thing was pardonable, that it was so on the présent 
occasion. Indeed, I acted thus much less from vanity 
than to disabuse her of any idea which might be 
harmful to me. I was afraid of her confusing me 
with the mass of rogues, who entirely filled the house 
of his Eminence, and, if once I allowed her to get this 
idea into her head, it would afterwards hâve been 
difficult for me to change her opinion. She received 
what I said in my own praise very well, and, taking it 
in the same spirit in which I spoke, that is to say, as 
simply a proof that I was a gentleman, and not an 
innkeeper, hke the man I hâve before spoken of, she 
asked me that very day if I would not buy a company 
in the Guards, directly I got the money to do so. To 
be asked a thing like this at a first interview was 
getting on well ! Mayhap, she would hâve done 
better to hâve shown more reserve. For, although 
this does not mean much, and she might even hâve 
said it from indifférence, as there are certain things 
in which a lady ought to be extremely circumspect, 
she should weigh even her lightest words, since it 
is not the only thing for her to be virtuous, if she 
does not further keep herself quite free from sus- 

Having parted as I hâve described, I told her son, 
whom I had informed that I was to see him on behalf 


of the Cardinal, what answer she had given me about 
his affairs. At the same time, I enquired of him if he 
vvas resolved to displease her and so expose himself 
to what she threatened. He rejoined that, provided 
M. le Cardinal would grant him the honour of his 
protection, he would not pay any attention to such a 
trifling matter. His mother would get over her rage 
when she saw that matters were settled, and even did 
she go so far as to marry again, he would console 
himself as other children did when the same thing 
happened. I considered this a very youthful reply. 
His mother had at least eighteen or twenty thousand 
livres as income and, although I hâve never been 
accused of being too fond of money, I yet deemed that 
he would hâve been doing much better to be a plain 
conseiller in the last *' Présidial " of the kingdom than 
lose such a fine establishment. However, his désire 
was so great that he proceeded to say, that not only 
was he determined to do what he told me, but further 
to give his Eminence a thousand pistoles more than 
he had offered, so as to secure his protection when 
there should be need of it. This was attacking the 
Cardinal in his weak spot, and being delighted to 
pay him my court by letting him know this news, 
which would please him as much as if he had great 
need of the money, he entreated me with clasped 
hands, so to speak, not to let this opportunity slip. 
At the same time he told me, the more to encourage 
me, that I did not know what I owed him. I at 
once thought that he must hâve asked the Queen for 
something for me, and as one is naturally curions in 
such a pass, I pressed him so much to let me know 
what he meant, that at last he could not prevent 


himself from telling me that, had he been willing to 
listen to the Abbé Undedei, he would hâve banished 
me far from his side. This speech was one to give 
me an even worse opinion of the Italians than before. 
I remembered that the abbé had taken care to imply 
to me that he had not desired my ruin, and that on 
the contrary he had tried to save me. Meanwhile, 
I learned that, far from matters having happened as he 
had described, he had done his best to get me exiled, 
from which circumstance I concluded that I had 
not been far wrong when I formed the opinion that 
dissimulation and treachery were the appanage of 
people of his nation. 

I made the best excuses I could to the Cardinal, 
and the thousand pistoles which I gave him hopes of 
beyond his expectations having rendered me white as 
snow in his estimation, I do not know that I might 
not even hâve got the abbé banished, had I cared 
to ask for such a thing. Eventually we separated 
mutually pleased with one another, I because he 
promised me never again to think of the words which 
I had let slip, he because I had impressed upon him 
that he might count upon the thousand pistoles not 
escaping him. I now set to work to see that the 
matter was carried through. In the meantime, as, 
whilst serving others, it was not right that I should 
forget myself, I went again to see the widow, by whom 
I was even better received than on my first visit. 
She now spoke plain French to me, and I, on my 
part, having spoken afresh of the plan I had of 
participating in the revenge she wanted to take on 
her son, she asked me straight if she might rely 
upon my word. I answered that she was wronging 


me and herself as well, if she entertained any doubts 
about this. I was glad to let her know that I had 
never deceived anyone, not even my enemies. This 
was my character. Besides, she ought to know herself 
well enough to be aware that not only was she capable 
of arousing desires but also of setting them in a blaze. 
Consequently, I was already consumed by ardour to 
see my fortunes united to her own by bonds which 
could never be broken. This might be settled whenever 
she pleased, and I hoped that it would be to-day rather 
than to-morrow. 

This speech did not fail to touch her, at least I 
had reason to think so from the answer she gave me. 
She told me that, if things were as I said, I might 
rely on soon being a captain in the Guards ; she had 
the money quite ready to buy me a company and to 
procure for me an even greater position, if I was not 
satisfied with a captaincy. I was delighted to hear 
her speak so. For a long time now I had ardently 
wished for a post of this kind. Several times already 
I had spoken to his Eminence on the subject, and 
he, not being any more backward at promising than 
had always been his wont, had at once replied that 
it should be done directly he saw an opportunity. 
This opportunity had presented itself some time 
afterwards, a company having chanced to be vacant, 
but, as he had found there was some money to be 
got, he had remembered me no more than if I had 
been nonexistent or if he had never made me any 
promise. I had thought fit to remind him of my 
interest in the matter, but the only answer he had 
given me was, that " what was delayed was not lost." 
Thèse six words had made me patient, but since 


then he had again dealt with two or three of thèse 
companies under my very nose, just as if what he 
had told me was but a regular dream. So, as I no 
longer rehed upon him, my joy at seeing myself in 
such a fair way to dispense with his protection was 
great in the extrême, since such small confidence could 
be placed in his statements. I hoped, as indeed I 
had reason to do, that this pleasure would not fail 
to be mine, now that I was about to hâve some 
money. I had, if I may say so, done my duty with 
some distinction. This had given me a reason for 
pressing him more than I should hâve done, had I 
felt that I had been lacking in it. Be this as it 
may, thinking now only of settling my marriage, so 
as soon to see myself happy in getting what I had 
so long desired, I went to see the widow every day 
with much assiduity and was every moment received 
more agreeably than I had been at the commencement 
of our intimacy. 

Meanwhile, her son's affairs were settled, and, either 
because he had up to that time imagined that my visits 
to his mother were only on his own account, or because 
his anxiety to obtain the post he was seeking made him 
incapable of thinking of anything except that which 
could facilitate his schemes, he had as yet taken no 
offence whatever, or if he had done so, had been un- 
willing to show any signs of it. Now, however, having 
nothing further to désire in that quarter, he began to 
consider that, property being an excellent thing and 
what one could not do without, it woulà be a very bad 
move to let his mother's slip out of his hands. For this 
reason, closely observing the attentions which I began 
to pay her, he became so uneasy that he no longer 


slept day nor night. He might hâve said something to 
me about it and taken a high hand with me, in the way 
one usually does in thèse sort of cases. For, although 
duels still continued to be forbidden with much 
stringency, pcople did not fail to occasionally évade 
the prohibition and to fight as much as ever. Regu- 
larly appointed meetings were passed off as chance 
encounters. However, either because he was such a 
good servant of the King as not to like to contravene 
his orders, or because he deemed me more inchned 
to do mischief than himself, far from proceeding to 
such extremities, he, on the contrary, told me that he 
was not sorry that I was about to become his step- 
father, for he clearly perceived that his mother was 
bent on committing the folly of marrying again, and, 
as this was the case and it was not in his power to 
prevent it, he was ready to bestow his bénédiction 
upon both of us. 

He made this speech to me in such an airy manner, 
that I thought there was no déception in what he said. 
I consequently did not scruple not only to embrace 
him, but to déclare besides, that, as he was behaving 
like this, I should always live on such good terms with 
him and such friendly ones, that he would hâve no 
reason to regret his kindly view of our courtship. I 
was well aware that both his mother and myself were 
quite free to do as we liked, but being of a disposition 
which preferred to be at peace with the whole world, I 
was highly delighted at the course which his reason 
and natural good sensé had caused him to adopt at 
the présent juncture. Everybody was not always 
ready to do themselves justice like this, and he would 
do much better than if he had behaved in another 

VOL. II 7 


way. I would ask him only for a little time in which 
to prove this truth to him, and the only judge of it 
I should seek would be himself. 

His mother was informed by me of what he had 
said. She was just as pleased as I myself, so much so 
that, at once forgiving him for his disobedience in con- 
sidération of his récent gracious behaviour, we both 
fixed the next Monday as the day for our marriage. 
We ordered our clothes in view of this event, and 
having pubhshed the banns on the Sunday, we were 
ready for our betrothal the same day, so as to com- 
plète our marriage on the morrow, when the curé 
of St. Eustache, in whose parish she lived, came to tell 
us that an objection had been made. This news 
surprised both of us, but not each of us to the same 
extent. As I was not thoroughly posted as to this 
lady's mode of life, and had taken more care to make 
enquiries about her property than about anything 
else, my first idea was that she had had an intrigue 
with someone who was just as anxious to win her as 
I was. This cooled me down considerably, and at 
once perceiving it, no sooner had the curé taken his 
leave, than she glanced at me without daring to say 
a Word. This news had as it were prostrated her, so 
much so (especially when she saw my face) that she 
had not even asked the divine who it was that was 
raising this opposition. The curé for his part had 
thought it most discreet to tell her nothing, believing 
her to know enough about it not to need enlightenment. 
He was afraid of causing her to blush, and that she 
would be obliged to cast down her eyes in my prés- 
ence. He knew thèse things were usually the sequel 
of some love affair, and therefore he was anxious to 


spare her the confusion which she must especially feel 
before me, because, to be reasonable, such a thing 
could not be agreeable to me. 

The lady in her distress would never bave broken 
her silence, had I not forced her to do so by asking 
what the meaning of ail this was. She said, in reply, 
that she knew nothing about it at ail, but that 
ail she could tell me was, that it was very painful for 
herself, since my expression showed clearly enough 
that I suspected her of some intrigue. In spite of 
this, she had never had any spécial love affair with 
anyone, either before or after her husband's death. 
Consequently, she had no reason whatever for expecting 
what was now taking place. She had always been 
virtuous, so much so that not only had she never 
given any man grounds for opposing her banns, but 
even for daring to say that she had ever uttered a word 
to him which could be construed as an engagement. 
For eight years now she had been a widow, and if I 
liked to make enquiries, I should discover that since 
then she had lived in such great retirement that it 
was an impossibility to accuse her of having seen 
any man who did not belong to her family. The 
frank way in which she spoke at once convinced me 
that she was not as guilty as I had imagined. I had 
at first got some curious fancies into my head, which 
had obscured my understanding ; so, immediately 
ridding myself of thèse ideas, I decided that I ought 
not, on account of a false alarm, to abandon the hopes 
I had formed of possessing her twenty thousand livres 
of income. I therefore asked her pardon for my 
suspicions, telling her (to make her the more appreciate 
my return to her allegiance) that she ought to be 



delighted at this occurrence, since it must demonstrate 
that not only I did not want to lose her, but must 
further convince her of the confidence I should always 
place in what she told me. She must certainly 
now perceive that, after being thoroughly alarmed, I 
immediately recovered at a single word of hers. She 
admitted that this was true, but added that, ail the 
same, she did not know whether she had any great 
cause to rejoice at it, for a woman who fell into the 
hands of such a suspicions husband had every likelihood 
of passing some evil hours with him. Jealousy was a 
strange thing, and although people said it was only 
the resuit of love, as it could nevertheless be but the 
outcome of a diseased kind of love, my moods were 
not less to be feared than death itself. 

I was not in any way jealous. To be so, I should 
hâve had to hâve been in love, which was very far 
from my case ! I was no older than this lady's son, 
and to be fond of a woman who might hâve been my 
mother was not the sort of thing very much in my 
line, but I coveted wealth and a good position, and 
the news which the curé of St. Eustache had brought 
us having seemed to me to announce the loss of both 
thèse things was what had produced the particular 
State of mind which the lady had observed me to 
be in. Nevertheless, as little by little I began to be 
reassured, I tried to make my peace with her, which 
I succeeded in doing only with a good deal of difficulty. 
This done, I enquired of her from whom thèse objections 
arose, and being no wiser than myself (having been 
so much affected as to hâve forgotten to ask) she 
replied that, whoever the man was, he must be an 
impostor. Her surprise at the news, and above ail 


at my réception of it had prevented her from finding 
out from the curé, but as I began to admit my mistake, 
and she herself was also beginning to regain her sensés, 
herses must be put in the carriagc, and both of us go 
together to find out who was at the bottom of ail this. 

We did as she wished, and, not finding the curé at 
home, we spoke to one of his curâtes. He told us that 
the objection arose from a gentleman named Le Bègue 
de Villaines, who was from the province of Berri. This 
gentleman had taken up his résidence at the house of 
an attorney called Harouard, and the latter would 
probably give us ail the information we desired. His 
advice to us was to set out and find him, for, if we 
wanted to know more than he had just told us, we 
should hâve to enquire of others than the curé and 
himself. We thought fit to believe him, and from his 
house betook ourselves to the attorney's, who lived 
quite close to Notre-Dame, just in front of a little 
parish church there is there. The widow had already 
vowed to me, on leaving the curate's house, that she 
did not know this M. de Villaines, and that she had 
never even heard him spoken of. On the way, she 
reiterated the same statement once more, which highly 
delighted me, because I felt glad that a lady whom I 
desired to make my wife should not only be known as 
virtuous, but, in addition, as being above ail suspicion. 
On account of this, I formed the opinion that it was 
but a joke someone had tried to play us, and was 
unable to say if she or I was its intended victim. AU 
the same, I could not conceive that it could possibly 
concern me ; I was unaware of having any enemy, the 
more so as the whole of my behaviour had always 
been so circumspect towards everybody, that it was 


easily seen that I tried rather to please everyone than 
to displease one single soûl. 

Harouard was honest enough for a man of his 
profession (in which honest men are very scarce) : con- 
sequently, we had no sooner told him what had brought 
us, than he replied that he did not know this M. de 
Villaines. It was however true, that a handsome 
enough man, whom also he did not know, had that 
morning corne to his house to beg him to take charge 
of the légal notices which might be given to him 
touching this affair. To secure him, he had said that 
this business could not fail to be carried to the Parle- 
ment, and that M. de Villaines on the strength of his 
réputation, had already cast his eyes upon him to 
défend his interests. 

As ail this appeared to us a regular plan to play us 
a joke, we asked this attorney what sort of man was 
he who had corne to see him. Our idea was to try 
and recognise the perpetrator of this hoax from the 
portrait he should give us, so as to thus find out whom 
we had to deal with. But, in spite of his frankly telling 
us ail he knew, the resuit was just the same as if he 
had told us nothing at ail. Neither the widow nor 
myself knew anyone who at ail resembled the man he 
described. The lady appealed to the Officialty, where 
she was summoned. First of ail, she requested that 
her opponent should appear in person, taking an oath, 
as she had already done before me, that she had never 
known this M. de Villaines nor anyone connected with 
him. There was a lawyer at this court who held a 
brief for the other side, and who asked for a month's 
delay for his client to appear in. His pretext was, 
that not only was his house more than sixty leagues 


from Paris, but that he was also unwell. The judge 
reduced this by half, and only gave him a fortnight. 
This period of time, which still seemed to me a very 
long one (not on account of my love, which was very 
moderate, but on account of my impatience to know 
who had played us such a trick), was hanging very 
heavily on my hands, once the first day was past, 
when at the end of the week I thought I descried the 
man whose picture the attorney of the Parlement had 
painted. He had described him as having a red 
doublet embroidered with silver, a black wig and a 
beaver-hat of the same colour with a white feather. 
He had besides told us that he had a tuft of blue 
ribbon on the brim of his hat, as was then the fashion. 
Passing over the Pont-Neuf in asedan-chair, I perceived, 
in the carriage of nxy future step-son, a man exactly 
answering this description. This made me rather sus- 
pect that it could not but be he who had been to 
Harouard's house, and further, that it was the step- 
son alone who had set him to work. This I told his 
mother, whom I went to see after dinner. She agreed 
with my views, and we mutually arranged to hâve her 
son watched, so as to discover who this " red doublet " 
might be. By thèse means we found out that he was 
an adventurer without birth or réputation, whose only 
profession was frequenting gaming-houses. This in- 
creased our suspicions : for, as exactly a man of that 
stamp was needed to sustain an imposture of this kind, 
this individual would be more suitable than anyone 
else who might hâve his own or his family's réputation 
to look to. The lady wanted me to go and find him 
and threaten that, did he not withdraw from his 
lawsuit, I would hâve him cudgelled to death, but, 


being of opinion that she was going a little too fast to 
follow her advice (for, far from the matter being 
cleared up as she declared it was, I saw many diffîcul- 
ties ahead), I begged her to restrain her impatience 
until such time as our suspicions should be verified. 
What puzzled me was that the man did not call 
himself M. de Villaines. He went by the name of 
the Chevalier de la Carlière — a title which apparently 
had not cost him much — at ail events his chevalier- 
ship had not been expensive, since they would not even 
hâve taken him at Malta as a *' Chevaher servant."^ 
He was only the son of a mason, though, to see him, one 
would hâve said he was that of a Maréchal of France. 

We also placed a spy at Harouard's door, and at 
that of the lawyer of the courts, to see whether the 
man did not go to one or the other's house, but this 
spy, having done nothing but waste his time and 
trouble, I bethought myself of sending Athos to lodge 
in the same hostelry as the chevalier. First of ail I 
made him disguise himself. I hired for him at an old 
clothes' shop a black suit and a mantle of the same 
colour, and having begged him to call himself a lawyer 
whilst at the hostelry, he made a number of litigants 
who lodged there believe that he had come specially 
from Pau on account of a lawsuit with which a com- 
munity of that part of the country had entrusted him. 
This was thoroughly believed because, though he had 
not the appearance of a lawyer, they did not make 
too careful enquiry. Besides, people do not always 
look what they are : witness a certain referendary 
whom I sometimes see at Court, who has as much 
beard as a guardsman, and who would look much 

1 A " Chevalier servant " was 'one who entered the order, 
without being able to give proofs of being of noble birth. 


better at the head of a régiment of cavalry than on the 
"fleurs de lis."^ For everybody ought not only to work 
at his profession, but also to hâve the appearance of 
doing so. A beard does not suit a magistrate unless 
it is " à la Moignon, or à la Novion." A beard " à la 
Vedeau" is more the beard of a sentrythanof a councillor 
of the Parlement, so ail those people who equip them- 
selves out of their rôles take leave of good sensé at the 
same time. They only get themselves laughed at, but 
enough of beards : I had much better return to my 

Athos having thus declared himself from Pau, La 
Carlière, who had no great judgment, at once asked 
him if he knew me. Probably he was aware that I 
came from there, and, although he merely knew me 
by réputation (and L should not hâve been too pleased 
to be well known to a man like him), his eagerness to 
speak was the cause of his making this enquiry. 
Athos, who had as much judgment as the other had 
little, no sooner heard him speak of me than he 
thought his trouble would not be for nothing. He 
believed, I repeat, that I was both right in my 
suspicions and that he himself would not be long in 
clearing up the matter. He accordingly replied, the 
better to cause him to fall into the trap, that, although 
Bearn was not too big a district, it was impossible to 
know everyone there ; that he had, it was true, heard 
talk of my family and myself, but he could not say 
that he knew me as an acquaintance without telling 
a lie. He had heard, he added, only two days before 
he had set out, that I had made a large fortune in 
Paris, and that I had married a rich widow, which 
should suit me well, since I had no riches of my 

^ On the bench. 


own. La Carlière rejoined that he did not know 
who had told him this news, but it was totally false. 
The fortune I had up to now made was nothing in 
particular. It was true I was a Heutenant in the 
Guards, but as for my having married the widow I 
spoke of, he must scratch that out of his bocks. 
He added that he quite agreed I had thought of 
marrying her, but it had never corne off, unless he 
was very much mistaken. 

If this chevalier of a new sort had been imprudent 
in merely asking Athos if he knew me, it was being 
much more so to speak to him so plainly ! Had he 
had the least sensé, he ought not to hâve opened his 
mouth about this matter, but, as he had none, he 
continued on his way, without taking précautions 
against it leading him over a précipice. Athos, 
without giving any sign of anything, answered that 
he could not go bail for ail the rumours which were 
current in the provinces. He had really believed in 
that rumour, because he had heard it at the house 
of the lieutenant de roi at Bayonne, but, since he 
declared it was not true, he was ready to trust him 
rather than the man who had said so, for, being on 
the spot as he was, he would know more of the 
matter than one who was so far away. His civility 
pleased the chevalier, and, from the manner he spoke, 
thinking nothing less than that he was on my side, 
he begged him to let him know confidentially if I 
were of the family of D'Artagnan as I claimed to be. 
I had agreed with Athos and the lady that, should 
the chevalier by chance put a question like this to 
him, he was to tell him ail the scandalous things 
possible. My idea was, that it was the chevalier who 


had been to Harouard and that my future son-in-law 
had made him go, so ail this would soon corne back 
to his mother with the object of disgusting her with 
me. I had consequently given Athos his lesson in 
writing, so that it might be reported to her word 
for word. It could make no impression, for I had 
warned her beforehand and she had highly improved 
of this stratagem, which indeed succeeded admirably. 
Athos, after pretending a little shyness, as if he feared 
being put down as a scandalmonger, told La Carlière 
that, since he was curious to discover my origin, no 
one could speak more positively about it than himself. 
Eighteen or twenty years ago a lawsuit had taken 
place at Pau about my genealog}\ At that time he 
was the clerk of a lawyer to whose house ail the 
papers had been brought which had to do with the 
matter. His curiosity had led him to carefully examine 
thèse papers, and either he was a fool or I was no 
more a gentleman than his valet. He now remembered 
that I was the grandson of a tinker who had gone 
to the wars and, having made something of a fortune 
there, had taken the name and arms of the family of 

La Carlière, who was the man who had been to 
Harouard, was delighted at this discovery. He had 
been sent there by the lady's son, as we had suspected ; 
so, believing that no sooner should she hear me spoken 
of like this than she would not receive me again, he 
went to tell his friend the news. I heard from Athos, 
whom I secretly saw in a house which I had appointed 
as a meeting-place, everything which had passed at 
the hostelry. I formed the same opinion as he had 
done, and at once thinking that I should not hâve long 


to wait to hear something about it, my forecast soon 
came off. The son no sooner learned what I hâve just 
recounted, than he had a letter written to his mother 
by his confédérale. It was dated from Paris, and 
contained the whole story of my origin without one 
syllable being omitted. What was besides a curious 
thing about this was, that the next night the strangest 
concert one ever heard speak of took place in front of 
this lady's Windows. Ail the whistles (as I believe) of 
the tinkers of Paris and the suburbs had been borrowed, 
and, as the sounds extracted from them were mingled 
with those of a quantity of pans and kettles, the most 
horrible music ever up to that time heard was produced. 
It is true that this is what usually happens, or at 
least a part of it, at the weddings of old people who 
remarry young ones, but, as we were not yet corne to 
that, and as, besides, the lady was not of so décrépit 
an âge that she was to be thus coarsely insulted, it was 
easy for us to perceive that this new sort of rough^ 
music was directed not so much against her as against 
me. Indeed, if some of thèse instruments were usually 
to be observed in ordinary " rough music," the addition 
of the whistle meant something mysterious, and could 
only hâve to do with me. 

No more was necessary to make me résolve to re- 
venge myself on a man who made war on me more like 
a fox than a lion, I mean my future son-in-law, who, under 
the pretence of friendship, had fooled me so finely 
that I had been the first to praise his good qualities to 
his mother. This was why she had so easily forgiven 
him. However, things having changed a good deal 

I " Rough music," known in the north of England as " riding 
the stang," has not yet entirely disappeared from English village 
life, and is still occasionally resorted to in cases of unpopularity 
at bad behaviour. 


since then, she was so eager to sce him punished for 
his pertidy, that she would herself hâve incited me to 
vengeance, had she not been afraid of outraging good 
taste and natural feehng by so doing. I had, never- 
theless, no need of anyone to excite me against him. 
I was by nature an enemy to deceit, even if it had 
only someone else as its object, and as his treachery 
directly affected me, I sent to find him, to let him 
know that I wanted to eut his throat. I did not dis- 
cover him ail that day, either because he feared some- 
thing, or because he was making préparations for a 
terrible thing which he was contemplating. Nor did 
I find him ail the next day, without being able to think 
of any other reason for it than the one I hâve given. 
Seeing my trouble wasted, sorrow overcame me to such 
an extent that, letting my resentment fall upon his 
crony La Carlière, I regaled him, as he was leaving 
Morel's, with a shower of blows from a cudgel. I 
pretended, by way of excuse, that he had trodden on 
my toes coming out of that establishment, where the 
game of dice was played, and where one always found 
a mixed company, that is to say, people of quality and 
scoundrels. He could not muster up courage to draw 
his sword to défend himself, which made me so sorry 
for him that I regretted having treated him as I had 
done. It even seemed to me that my honour was 
tarnished by insulting a wretch such as he. So ceasing 
ail of a sudden to thrash him, I told him that he 
must not believe ail this was for having trodden on my 
toes. "Ah," said I, "I recognise you, my friend, as 
being M. le Bègue de Villianes, and not the Chevalier 
de la Carlière. The Chevalier de la Carlière has too 
glib a tongue to let himself be thrashed without at 
Icast abusing his aggressor, but a 'bègue' (a stammerer) 


can no more speak than a rascal do anything else than 
turn his back to be beaten, as you bave done." 

He was very surprised to hear this speech of mine, 
and as he was already confused enough with the blows 
with which I had regaled him, he tried to boit to the 
corner of the street, so as to escape in the direction of 
the Hôtel Salé. He had no long way to go to do this: 
Morel's house was in the " Marais," in the Rue de la 
Perle, fifty paces at most from the hôtel in question. 
I do not know if he concealed himself there, or if he 
went on, for I did not give myself the trouble of 
following him. Be this as it may, having immedi- 
ately gone to describe to the lady what I had just done, 
I told her that her son had acted wisely to avoid me, 
for had I found him when searching for him, it had 
been my intention to see if he was as courageous as he 
was crafty and evil-speaking. The widow told me I 
had done well to regale my chevalier as I had, which 
would teach him to be wiser another time, but as such 
a thing might bring trouble upon me, were I to draw 
sword upon her son, she would beg me to do nothing 
of the sort. It was to be hoped that the warning I had 
given his friend would act as a reprimand to himself, 
and if the worst came to the worst, and should he not 
amend his behaviour of his own accord, she would no 
longer refrain from advising me to bave no greater 
considération for him than I had had for the chevalier. 

I thought that this was too much for a mother and 
a lady of good family to say. A lady iike this should 
not wish her son to be treated as one treats the riff- 
raff. But she was so enraged at the " rough music," 
thinking that only old women were treated in such a 
way, that she had lost possession of herself. Indeed, 


it is attacking a woman in her most sensitive quarter 
to tell her such truths, so much so, that she would 
pardon her own death as easily as a joke of this kind, 

Of ail the ways of offending women, there is none 
which upsets them more than anything which deals 
with their âge. The more truth there may be in what 
one says, the greater offence they take, and, as this 
lady was past forty, every word which might convey 
the impression that she was more than thirty was a 
dagger-thrust to her. For this reason, some three 
weeks or a month before, she had wanted to scratch 
her son's eyes out, because he used often to come and 
hum about her ears a song which at that time was a 
new one, and which had been composed for a person 
of about her own âge. The words of it were thèse — 

" Once that sJie's come to forty y car, 
A dame inust bid farewell 
To love and laughter. Fickle swains 
No longer fear her spell. 

" Careless of ancient loves, they fly 
To seek some winsome lass 
Still in her spring-tide, bright of eye, — • 
Ah love, like time, must pass ! " 

She had, nevertheless, taken good care not to let him 
know that her anger arose from any idea that she 
herself was attacked by this ditty. She had pretended 
that he sang badly, and that his voice was no less 
jarring upon her ears than the most disagreeable thing 
in the world. 

Our chevalier having thus been so excellently re- 
galed, we were both awaiting the end of the drama, 
which he and his friend had been kind enough to 


arrange for us, with more patience than before, when 
her son played us another thick which we had been 
far from expecting. As he had money and property, 
he found a clerk of a Secretary of State, who, for five 
hundred pistoles, promised to obtain for him a " lettre 
de cachet " to hâve his mother shut up. The steps 
they took to obtain this were thèse. They invented 
letters and answers written by her to a brother of hers 
in a foreign country. He had gone there on account 
of a duel which had caused much stir at Court. Owing 
to it, he had forfeited ail the property of his family, 
which would hâve corne to him after the death of his 
eldest brother, who had been referendary and had died 
childless. Thèse letters, by reason of the way they 
were interpreted, contained some référence to State 
affairs, so, as more is not necessary to ruin anybody, 
the "lettre de cachet" was issued and very cleverly 
made use of. A jubilee^ occurring about this time, 
the lady (who was ver}' pious), having left her house 
with only a companion to go and visit the churches, 
was arrested whilst leaving the Hôtel-Dieu. As is 
usual on thèse kind of occasions, she was thrown into 
a carriage, and the guards, who were too well instructed 
as to their duty to overlook anything, having made 
the companion enter it, at the same time the blinds of 
the carriage were pulled down and both ladies con- 
ducted to the house of the man who had arrested 
them. The leader of the escort believed the lady to 
be a real criminal, so, ail she could say to announce 
her innocence to the minister, or to hâve letters 
conveyed to her relatives being of no avail, he made 
her the next morning get into a carriage drawn by six 

I A gênerai indulgence granted by the Pope. 


horses, which was to take her to the prison which 
had been appointée!. 

Her household was very surprised when the dinner- 
hourarrivedand they did not see her return. However, 
they waited till two o'clock without being otherwise 
alarmed. They believed that piety had caused her to 
visit several churches, and that this was the reason of 
the delay. But at last, three o'clock having struck, 
and no news having yet corne to hand, the servants 
went to make search at her friends', to discover 
whether she had not stayed to dinner with some of 
them. Two hours more having elapsed without their 
being able to find out what had become of her, and 
the lackeys having returned home just as wise as 
when they set out, the lady's servants began to be 
plunged into real trouble ; so, thinking they ought to 
inform her son, the latter would not come to the house 
without a good escort. Probably he was afraid that, 
should he go alone, he might by chance meet me, 
and that I should treat him as I had treated his crony. 
This fear, besides, was the stronger because he 
knew that he had added a fresh crime to his previous 
one; so, as, after what I had said and done to La 
Carlière, he was not ignorant that I already knew 
one of the conspirators, he had a good idea that 
I might very well guess the other, and therefore did 
not think it convenient to risk himself rashly. 

The escort he desired consisted of four or five of 
his relatives — lawyers and men of distinction, to whom 
he went to announce the disappearance of his mother. 
They were very surprised, as one could not hâve failed to 
be at such a thing. They questioned him as to what 
he thought had become of her, and taking care not 

VOL. II 8 


to confide in them, since he would havebeen denouncing 
himself, he insinuated that I might very well hâve 
abducted her. The better to make them believe this, 
he told them that, though on first acquaintance she 
had passionately wanted to marry me, she had become 
so disgusted since the sérénade I hâve just spoken of, 
that he knew from a good source that she had dismissed 
me. I had, however, said he, not consented to accept this 
dismissal. Far from it, I had returned as usual to 
see her, but had apparently met with such small 
success as to hâve resorted to the violence of which 
he suspected me to be guilty. At the same time he 
explained to them the mystery of the sérénade, but, 
as there was one of thèse magistrates who had formerly 
been Intendant at Pau and who knew my family, he 
told him to take good care not to spread this " dream " 
abroad, for he would make himself a laughing-stock. 
There was no one who did not know who I was, 
and when people were so well known, ail the slander 
one might heap upon an individual must recoil on the 
head of its originator. Consequently, if his mother 
should hâve become disgusted with me, such disgust 
must hâve arisen from some other quarter than from 
my birth, which was more likely to arouse rather 
than to extinguish her desires. Nevertheless, as ail 
thèse gentlemen were very far from having any idea 
of his malice and thought him an honourable man, 
they resolved on lodging an ordinary légal complaint 
about the abduction of their relative and to make 
careful enquiries in ail the convents, if by chance she 
had not retired to one of them before taking any 
further steps. However, ail their enquiries having 
proved abortive, they became so carried away by 


passion, that they presented a pétition to the lieutenant 
criminel for permission to arrest me. 

The magistrate in question was a very extraordinary 
man, which ail Paris knew him to be. He never 
refused a pétition when presented to him accompanied 
by money. Should, however, this assistance be lacking, 
he would examine pétitions from one end to the other 
and made no exception in favour of anyone, whatever 
protection they might hâve on their side. I hâve 
forgotten to say that this pétition had been preceded 
by an information which had been lodged against me. 
My presumptive son-in-law had caused ail the servants 
of his mother to be heard, but their déclaration having 
rather exculpated than incriminated me, the lieutenant 
criminel had told the relatives that, if they wanted 
to bring this matter to a successful termination, they 
must bring other witnesses than those who had been 
produced. Indeed, thèse had said nothing but that 
I had been every day at their mistress's house, that we 
had eaten and drunk together very frequently, and 
that she had, some days before, ordered them to 
treat me with the same respect as if I was already 
their master. I let people imagine the effect of such 
évidence, and if my accusers must not hâve been 
mad to try and bring a suit against me on such 
grounds ! The lady's son, when he perceived this, 
had recourse to the expédient usually employed by 
those who wanted to gain this judge over to their 
side. He caused money to be offered him, but as 
the magistrate had, unluckily for him, learnt that I 
had been to M. le Cardinal and that he was according 
me his protection, instead of consenting to receive it, 
he sent me word that he would much like to speak 



to me. I was totally at a loss to divine what he 
wanted of me. I did not know him at ail, but having 
pondered well over the matter, I concluded that a 
soldier, who had been arrested for theft, and who was 
of my guard, was the cause. I imagined that he had 
remembered me, and that this magistrate, who was not 
wont to forget himself when his profit was concerned, 
wanted to feel my puise, to save this wretch's life. 
This thought inspired me with such contempt for 
him, that, instead of answering his request, I did not 
even trouble to let him hear from me. 

When he perceived this, he spoke of it to a gentleman 
who was a relation of his, named Seguier de la Verrière, 
in the suite of " Mademoiselle." This gentleman, whom 
he had before asked if he knew me, was a friend of 
mine. He it was who had told him of my having 
been to M. le Cardinal, and of his having been kind 
to me ; so, having complained that I had not done 
him the honour of giving him news of myself, though 
he might well expect such a thing, after what he had 
done for me, the magistrate once again begged him 
to let me know that he had something of importance 
to communicate. He even added that it concerned me 
more closely than I thought, in order that I might 
not be so négligent on this occasion as I had been 
on the other. La Verrière very much surprised me 
when he told me this. I replied, with that cordiality 
which prevails between good friends and honourable 
men, that he knew his relation just as well as myself. 
He had a bad réputation, and it was this which had 
prevented my replying to his civil message. My idea 
had been that he wanted to ask me for money to 
save a wretch from the gallows. Perhaps, indeed. 


this fresh attempt was made only vvith the same end 
in view, and I would beg him to let me know his 
opinion, for, if it coincided with m}- own, I should stop 
vvhere I was, without consenting to go and see him. 
At the same time, I enquired if he knew at ail what 
was wanted of me, knowing that, without any 
référence to his relationship, he would make no mystery 
about the matter. La Verrière, who was an honour- 
able man whom one could trust, told me that he 
had sounded his relative on the subject, but that he 
would never tell him anything about it ; he was there- 
fore of opinion that it was not about what I thought 
that he wished to speak to me. His reason for 
thinking so was that, were it for such a small matter, 
he would hâve made no mystery about mentioning 
it; he would even hâve told him to drop me a word, 
the more so as it would hâve been easy for him to 
turn this off in a creditable way, without as yet allowing 
his own self-interest to appear. In short, La Verrière 
concluded that he must hâve something of importance 
to tell me, and even of such great importance as not to 
confide it to anyone but myself. 

I allowed myself to believe him, so much so that, 
having goneto see this magistrate, he much surprised me 
when I learned what had happened. I had already been 
as astonished as anyone could be by the disappearance 
of the lady, but perceivingbesides that I wasaccusedof 
abducting her, I found myself so carried away by rage 
and grief that I do not know what this judge could 
hâve said about me. I must hâve seemed much more 
brutal than polite, for, instead of thanking him as I 
should hâve done, I railed against the lady's son, whom 
I did not fail to accuse of being the author of what 


had occurred. The trick he had already played iipon 
his mother and myself was a sure proof to me that I 
was not deceived. I told the lieutenant criminel 
this, and he replied that there was indeed some pre- 
sumption that it was true, but the proof was not clear 
enough to base certain confidence upon it. Besides, 
he was not the man to hâve had his mother killed, 
which also would hâve been, as it were, impossible for 
him to hâve done, without some news of it reaching his 
ears. He was furnished with accurate information 
regarding ail the murders which were perpetrated in 
Paris. None had occurred for nearly three weeks past, 
so, if the young man were guilty of that which I 
accused him of, it was at most only of having had his 
mother abducted. Nevertheless, people could not be 
shut up like this without someone getting to know of it. 
He would, for my sake, enquire of ail the prévôts if any 
suspicions carriage had been observed to pass by. The 
prévôts had spies out from the break of day to well on 
in the night, so, unless very particular measures had 
been taken, this affair would not long remain secret, 
always supposing that my suspicions turned out to be 

Thèse promises were of no use to me, because, 
although the carriage in which the lady was had been 
seen to pass, this functionary did not dare to tell me 
anything about it, as the matter concerned the King. 
Besides, as he did not think the lady was in it, he 
believed that, even should he speak about it, it would 
be of no use to me whatever. He could not guess that 
she had done anything which concerned the King, nor 
that a son had been wicked enough to reduce a mother 
to such a déplorable condition by means of a false 


accusation. Be this as it may, not being able, after 
making a thousand useless enquiries as to her fate, to 
get rid of the suspicion which I entertained against 
this young man, I resolved to dispatch him to another 
world. Nevertheless, I did not dream of carrying this 
out by evil means. My résolve was to fight with him, 
and obhge him to tell me what he had done with his 
mother, that is, if the fortune of war should place me 
in a position to ask him such a thing. However, no 
sooner did he perceive that I was trying to cross 
swords with him, than he secretly sold his post. At 
the same time, he crossed into foreign countries, under 
the pretext of travelling. I would hâve followed him, 
had I, like himself, been of a mood to throw up every- 
thmg, but coming to the conclusion that my prosperity 
was concerned, I was as patient as was possible for 
me to be, from fear of having reasons for regret if I 
were to do things without mature délibération. 

^ t-^ 


^ HREE months passed away without my hear- 
î:^ ing any talk of the matter. Notwithstanding 
this, I still continuée! to prosecute my en- 
quiries, but I had got just as far with them 
as on the first day, when I received an un- 
signed letter, and one, the writing of which was 
unknown to me. It set forth that the writer 
had undertaken to give me a great bit of news, which 
must closely affect me. It could not be confided to 
paper for very important reasons, but before six weeks, 
or two months at the latest, I should hear it out loud. 
More information could not be given, for indispensable 
reasons. I was to Hve in hope till then, for my troubles 
would certainly not last longer, 

My first thought, on receiving this letter, was that 
my enemy had had it written to further make game of 
me. Nevertheless, I had to be patient, without even 
knowing whence the letter came. For, as it was un- 
dated, and I had not been at home when it had been 
brought, I could not enquire from the postman.^ I 
went the next day to him to find this out, and, having 

I Cardinal Richelieu had, in 1630, established a rcgular postal 
System, with twenty postal zones. 


shown him the letter, he replied that he could not 
with certainty say from what place it had corne. 
He carried letters from so many places, that he was 
afraid of taking one for the other, but, ail the same, 
he thought it was from Bordeaux, and would even 
assure me that this was the case. The postage he 
had made me pay coincided with this well enough, 
but, in short, whether it came from there or some- 
where else, ail this was useless enough, since I did not 
know to whom to address myself to extricate me from 
my uneasiness. Two months and a half elapsed with- 
out my discovering the outcome of this letter, which 
made me more than ever believe that this was a new 
joke someone had played me. Finally, as I no longer 
expected anything, since the period of time named had 
already passed away fifteen days ago, I received a fresh 
letter, in which my pardon was asked for the writer 
not having kept his word. Excuses were made in it, 
couched in the most honourable terms imaginable, and 
thèse phrases ended with a formai assurance that, 
before three weeks were over, I should hâve every 
reason for being content. 

This second letter gave me more pleasure than the 
first, since it seemed to me that, if there had been 
nothing to be hoped for me, the writer would not hâve 
taken so much trouble. I consequently again waited 
patiently during the time asked, and scarcely two days 
after it had expired, one of my servants came to say 
that a gentleman was askingfor me. As every moment 
I awaited news of the person who had written to me, 
I asked hirn if he knew who it was, for, had he donc 
so, I should hâve clearly seen that it was not the man 
I awaited with such impatience, He answered no, 


which so much raised my hopes, that I vvas very near 
running to meet him, the sooner to make sure of my 
business. Reflecting, however, that, even were I to 
fly instead of run, the man could tell me nothing 
on the steps, I waited for him in my room with a stout 
heart. A moment later, I saw enter a tall well-built 
man, who, after having civilly saluted me, said that 
he had not the honour of being known to me, but 
that it was he who had twice written to me. I 
was delighted to perceive that it was the individual 
whom I had so long been waiting for, and, having 
had a chair placed for him near the fire, I made my 
servants leave the room, so that he might speak to me 
more at his ease. He proceeded to say that he was a 
gentleman of Gascony, who had had the misfortune to 
be shut up for ten years in the château of Pierre- 
Encise, that he had got out but two days before writing 
me his first letter, and had not been able to let me 
know its intent, for fear of its being seized in the post 
and bringing some fresh trouble upon himself. A mère 
nothing was needed to get a man thrown into thèse 
kind of prisons, especially when one was observed, on 
leaving them, to attempt to send news to the relatives 
or friends of other prisoners! What he at that time 
had to tell me, and that which he was now going to 
do, was to inform me that a lady, who had been im- 
prisoned in this château five or six months before, had 
great confidence in me to get her innocence established. 
She had been unable to write to me for lack of ink 
and paper, but now sent word that this affair had 
apparently been brought upon her by the same man 
who had opposed our marriage. I was not to lose a 
moment in succouring her, for, were I to delay a little 


time, sorrow would soon send her to the tomb. She 
did nothing but vveep day and night, and he was even 
very much afraid that the long time he had taken to 
give me news of her might hâve thrown her into 
despair, Nevertheless, he could not hâve done any 
more, for, at the end of such a long imprisonment, he 
had been obliged to go to his estate to see his wife 
and children. At first, he had reckoned not to be so 
long, but, not being born rich, and as in this world 
one did not do ail one wished, ail this time had been 
necessary for him to procure the money requisite for 
his journey to Paris. 

The reader may judge of my surprise at hearing 
such news ! I could not doubt that this was the lady 
whom I had so long sorrowed for, and even had I 
still doubted, I should not hâve remained in that state 
long, since he mentioned her by name to me. He 
added that she had been incarcerated in a room 
above his ovvn, that he had pierced the fireplace, which 
had the same chimney as that in which he lighted his 
fire, and had spoken to her by that opening, and 
had by thèse means finally learnt her sad fate. He 
left me a moment after, saying that time must be so 
precious to me after what he had just said, that everyone 
who should make me lose it could not be otherwise 
than insupportable. He would, however, come from 
time to time to see me, to know what I had done. 
Meanwhile, did I need him, he lodged in the Rue 
d'Orléans at the " Golden Scissors." I had only to 
Write him the shortest note to bid him come, and 
he would at once betake himself to my house. I had 
but to address it to M. de las Garigues, which, as a 
matter of fact, was not his real name, but the one 


which he had assumed in the hostelry for certain 
reasons of his own. 

I thanked him, as was right, for the trouble he had 
taken, and having gone to the house of M. le Tellier, 
Secretary of State, to whom I had the honour to be 
privately known, I related as succinctly as I could 
the afîair of the lady, so that he might assist me. 
This he promised to do, telling me that, as it was 
not he who had issued the " lettre de cachet," he would 
discover from the other Secretaries of State who it 
was who had given it, so I must furnish him with 
not only the name and position of the lady in writing, 
but further make three memoranda ail exactly alike, 
in order that he might send them to the three 
Secretaries of State, which there were without counting 
himself. I was enchanted at his promises, and having 
gone from him to the house of one of his chief clerks, 
named Boistel, a friend of mine, I begged him to 
give me three sheets of paper with a pen and ink, 
This was soon done, and my three memoranda 
being completed on the spot, I at once took them 
to M. le Tellier, whom I found no longer at home. 
M. le Cardinal had just sent for him on some business, 
and betaking myself to his house (not to speak to him 
there, but to watch when he went out, so as to return 
to his lodging with him), Iremained two hours without 
his making his appearance, Eventually he descried me 
in the ante-chamber while leaving the minister, 
and having signalled to me to come to him, he very 
obligingly asked me if my memoranda were finished. 
I replied yes, and having bidden me give them to him, 
so as to return me an answer as quickly as possible, 
I would not do so, on the pretext that I should be 


acting much more politely by bearing them to his 
house than by thus casually giving them to him. 
The truth, however, is, that I was afraid that, if I 
gave them to him, he would put them in his pocket 
and the moment after, remember them no more. The 
great matters, by which he was already overwhelmed 
and by which he has been even much more burdened 
since, gave me ground for fearing this forgetfulness. 
He told me however, that ail thèse formalities were 
out of place between us, that I must give him the papers 
without fuss, for he would at once send them to his 

Seeing him so obHging, I obeyed without any 
répugnance, He did, indeed, give the packet to one 
of his lackeys, with orders to carry it to the valets 
de chambre of the three other Secretaries of State. 
He also bade him tell the man to whom he delivered 
it that, not only was it from him that thèse memoranda 
came, but, further, that he must impress upon his 
superiors that he would be grateful to them, if they 
completed this business as quickly as possible. 

The lackey at once went where his master had told 
him to go, and having punctually executed his com- 
mission, I discovered the next day that ail three 
memoranda had been returned to M. le Tellier with 
exactly the same answers. They set forth that the 
lady mentioned was not at Pierre-Encise, and that 
ail the registers of the state-prisoners for a year past 
had been searched, and, from the examination made, it 
had been discovered that she was not there. No sooner 
had M. le Tellier shown me this answer than, with- 
out wasting my time writing a note to M. de las 
Guarigues as he had told me, I went myself to find 


him. Fortunately he was at home, and, having reported 
the answer I had just received, he rephed, that there 
was a misunderstanding in ail this : that he had spoken 
only the truth, when he had described the imprison- 
ment of my friend to me, and that, as he could not 
make ont what this meant, the only and best advice 
he could give, as I had friends, was to find out from 
them the name of a lady, who had been incarcerated at 
Pierre-Encise within the time he had mentioned to 
me. She was undoubtedly the one about whom I was 
in trouble, and I ought to be the more sure of it from 
his not telling me things picked up from hearsay, but 
from his own personal knowledge. 

I deemed that he was not in the wrong : so, having 
returned to the house of M. le Tellier, I told him con- 
fidentially how I knew that the lady, whose name was 
on my memoranda, was at Pierre-Encise, so that the 
might not take ill my returning to the charge after the 
trouble he had already taken. Nevertheless, I made 
this avowal to him only with ail the précautions 
possible, so as not to harm the man from whom I 
had obtained this information. I told him that it was 
not only a natural thing for unfortunate people to try 
and assist one another, but further, that anyone in 
trouble would deserve to be punished by God, were he 
not to earnestly attempt such a thing. The interests 
of the King were not concerned in this kind of affair, 
especially when undertaken by just and reasonable 
means, such as making manifest the innocence of an 
accused person. M. le Tellier, with his usual high- 
mindedness, replied that it was unnecessary for me 
to take so much trouble to exculpate the man who 
had given me this information. My interest in the 


matter was enough to cause him to do his duty, and 
I should hâve a reply to my request at once in the 
same way, and as quickly as I had had to my memor- 
anda. This his colleagues would not refuse him, espe- 
cially when they learned that he took just as much 
interest in the matter as if it concerned himself. I 
thanked him as I ought for such lofty sentiments, and 
having again been but twenty-four hours in giving me 
an answer, I finally learned that the lady I sought had 
been arrested under her family name, and not under 
that which her husband bore. This was a scheme of 
her son's, to further put me off the scent and stop me 
finding out her fate. 

The first thing I did after this discovery, was to 
make myself acquainted with the cause of her déten- 
tion. It was M. le Comte de Brienne, Secretary of 
State for Foreign Affairs, who had had her arrested, 
but this gentleman, who was touchy and eccentric 
enough, having chanced at that moment to hâve had 
a dispute with M. le Tellier about something to do 
with their office, in which both thought themselves 
interested, M. le Tellier begged me to find someone 
else than himself to do me the service of which I now 
stood in need. I found two or three people who 
thought themselves sufficiently friendly with him to be 
obliged not to refuse my request. They did indeed 
speak to the comte in great confidence, but as the 
clerk, who had received the five hundred pistoles to 
expedite the issue of the " lettre de cachet," no longer 
had M. le Tellier above him to oblige him to bend 
under his orders, he turned the mind of his master so 
successfully, that, after several delays which he caused, 
they told me that they could not be more discontented 


with him than they were. After having promised 
them everything, he now sought for means to excuse 
himself. They would not try and imitate him in 
playing with me any longer. I must betake myself 
elsewhere, since they preferred at once to own their 
small influence with him, to giving me grounds for 
blaming their great credulity. 

The matter being thus finished, as far as they were 
concerned, I had recourse direct to the Cardinal. As 
it was he who had first advised me to make love to 
the lady, I had taken care to keep him posted as to 
ail the progress I had made with her. He also knew 
of my grief on seeing my plan collapse through the 
misfortune which she had met with. He had even 
told me that I must be very unfortunate to again 
expérience this misfortune, since it was not the first 
time he had perceived me on the eve of an advantageous 
marriage, and witnessed the downfall of my hopes. 
Nevertheless, ail this had failedat the most unexpected 
moment, so that, if there was any consolation for me, 
it should be that it was in no way m y own fault. Be 
this as it may, this minister not being able to be 
annoyed at my speaking to him of a person with whom 
he had himself started me, I described to him where 
she was, and the need I had of his help to extricate 
her. His Eminence was so eager to render services to 
everyone when it cost him nothing, that he received 
my pétition favourably. He bade me give him a 
mémorandum on the matter, and he would send it to 
the Comte de Brienne. I completed one a quarter of 
an hour later, and having gone with it to him, instead 
of taking it, he told me to go and présent it myself to 
that under-minister. I went, and, either because he 


did not think that I came from such a good quarter, or 
that he was in his disobliging mood, as happened to 
him often enough, he made reply that his ears had 
already been tired out with this business, but that it 
seemed such a bad one, that he was surprised at 
honourable people being wilHng to meddle further 
with it. 

He was speaking to me thus only with the voice 
of his clerk, who deemed himself obliged to support 
his handiwork, fearing lest it should be discovered 
that it was but the five hundred pistoles he had received 
which had made him commit the pièce of rascality 
he had. But, as I was ignorant of ail this, fear 
seized me at hearing him talk thus, so much so that, 
had my own interests only been concerned, I do not 
know that I should not hâve abandoned everything 
on the spot rather than risk making a false step. 
Knowing the comte to be proud and vindictive enough, 
I told myself that it might be possible that the lady 
had plotted against the minister. The reason I had 
for suspecting her was that she had an uncle, whom 
his Eminence still kept in exile, and whose misfortunes 
I had sometimes heard her déplore. 

She had great need at this moment of having made 
me fall in love with her, so as to surmount this 
obstacle ; indeed, as there is nothing which love does 
not conquer, my fears would soon hâve disappeared 
before it. Meanwhile, either because I was more 
interested than I thought, or because my compassion 
for her plight produced the same effect as love might 
hâve done, I did not fail to return two days later to 
the house of the Comte de Brienne, to ascertain from 
him if he had no more favourable reply to give me 

VOL. II 9 


than the one he had already made. He received 
me even worse than the first time. I complained of 
this to the Cardinal, and knowing I must inform him, 
unless I expected to lose my suit, I casually said, 
without feeling sure if I Hed or not, that there 
was a clerk of this Secretary of State who opposed 
me with his master. I had been told that he had let 
himself be corrupted with money, and that, as the 
son of my prisoner had a good deal, he had every 
Hkelihood of perpetually retaining him in his interests 
by new présents. So, as there was nothing more 
capable of smothering innocence than such a course 
of action, I saw great risk of seeing myself " fleeced," 
unless his Eminence were to accord me formally his 
protection. I only asked for justice, and if the lady 
were guilty, as was maintained, far from desiring 
to justify her, I should be the first to demand her 

His Eminence listened to my reasons, and as I 
had seized the opportunity of speaking to him when 
leaving the gambling-room, where he had just won 
fifteen hundred pistoles, he chanced to be in such a 
good humour that he bade me follow him into his 
study. He sent for one of his secretaries, and 
immediately bade him write off a note to the Comte 
de Brienne to at once bring him the register of the 
prisoners who were at Pierre -Encise. The comte 
did not dare resist an order like this, and being 
obliged to obey, he brought this register, in which 
I saw that the lady had been arrested for the reasons 
I hâve just detailed. I was enchanted to perceive that 
matters were not as I had suspected ; so, nothing now 
preventing me from entirely devoting myself to her 


interests, I begged M. le Cardinal to hâve the letters 
mentioned in it brought to him, so that he might see 
if they were as incriminating as was reported. He 
was good enough to accède to my entreaty. M. de 
Brienne sent the clerk, who had brought the register 
with him, to get the letters. He was not long in 
returning, and, having spread them ont on the table 
of his Eminence, I had no sooner cast my eyes over 
them than I understood their import. I at once told 
the minister this, and that the calumny was such a 
clumsy one, that no trouble had even been taken to 
forge the lady's writing. The writing was totally 
différent from hers, and even so différent that no 
experts would be needed to prove it. If his Eminence 
would be pleased to keep the letters, I would in a 
moment bring him some which I had from the accused 
woman's own hand. Charity and justice itself demanded 
that she should suffer no more, since she was innocent. 
She was shut up like a miscreant, which was a very 
sad thing, and at the same time very hard for a person 
of some birth and one who had never given occasion 
for anything of the sort. 

The Cardinal, who was kind when he liked (which 
was never), chancing by good luck to be in a good 
mood just then, told me to go and fetch my letters 
immediately. The matter should at once be settled 
on the desk, without there being need of delaying it to 
another time. Never did order seem more pleasant to 
me than this one. I set out that very minute without 
having to be told twice, and, having brought him thèse 
letters, he at once perceived the deceit just as I had 
been able to do. The Comte de Brienne himself could 
not deny it, thoroughly prepared as he was ; so, as ail 


now merely depended upon whether sufïicient trust 
would be placed in me to believe that the letters I had 
shown were the lady's and that the others were not, 
his Eminence, who wanted to oblige me cheaply, 
bade me sign my déclaration and attest that it con- 
tained the truth. I did so without hésitation, and 
even made myself security, " body for body," for what I 
advanced in favour of the lady. M. le Cardinal hoped 
that matters were as I said : then, having ordered 
M. de Brienne to grant me an order to extricate her 
from prison, this comte tried to put me off to the next 
day, and, perhaps, even to four or five days ahead. 
Upon this I begged his Eminence to grant a complète 
pardon, since he had already so manifestly obliged me. 
I declared that the clerk who had brought thèse letters 
might Write the order and the Comte de Brienne sign 
it, and that there would be only the King's seal to be 
affixed, and, as this was but the matter of a moment, I 
should be able to take post that very day to deliver the 
lady from captivity. Half a day's journey in such a 
situation was a great alleviation to an unfortunate 
person : how much more so a time of longer duration, 
as was the one I was asking for ! M. le Cardinal 
thought I was right and, things being done as I 
wished, everything would hâve turned out in the best 
way in the world for me, had I been able to hâve the 
seal affîxed a quarter of an hour later, as I thoroughly 
expected to hâve done. However, the clerks, who 
were accustomed to do everything for one another, not 
being behindhand on this occasion (the man whose 
duty this was being apparently eager to enrage me, 
because he knew it would please his colleague who had 
received the five hundred pistoles), kept me going for 


two days without consenting to satisfy me. I even 
think that he would hâve kept me going much longer, 
if it had not been that I returned to M. le Cardinal 
to let him know the annoyance inflicted upon me. 
Eventually, his Eminence having taken the trouble to 
send again and even to threaten that, if people vvere 
audacious enough to make me w^ait any longer, he 
would send at least a dozen clerks to prison, my order 
was delivered to me, but not without difficulty. As a 
last pièce of trickery, the clerk wanted to insist on its 
being sent by the courier. Perceiving, however, that 
I was determined to return afresh to his Eminence, and 
make complaint of this, the fear of harm befalling him 
caused the man to at last desist from persecuting me. 

I set out the same day, pleased beyond measure at 
the succour I was about to give this poor woman. I 
considered myself as the cause of her misfortunes, since, 
without her kindness to me, her son would never hâve 
dreamt of being so unjust to her. As I was young and 
vigorous, I went a long way in a short time; I reached 
Lion very early, and having gone to take up my abode 
at the house of the brother of the Maréchal de Villeroy, 
who was archbishop, I proceeded thence to where my 
business lay. I delivered my order to him who com- 
manded in this castle (Pierre-Encise), and this officer, 
having seen its contents, told me that he was deeply 
sorry for the trouble I had taken. He was very much 
afraid I had come too late. The lady to whom I had 
brought liberty had not the appearance of enjoying it 
very long. She was at the last point of illness, and as 
her disease but arose from grief, ail he could now hope 
was that the news which I was bringing might perhaps 
resuscitate her from death to life. She had already 


received ail the sacraments, in short, one only awaited 
her death. 

I leave to the imagination my grief at a speech like 
this. I begged this commandant to show me to her, 
and, having at once conducted me to her room, I found 
her in an even worse plight than he had described. She 
did not recognise me, but this not being the case with 
her companion, who had been imprisoned in the same 
room, the latter ran to her bed to announce my arrivai. 
** Madame," cried she, " hère is M. d'Artagnan come 
to deliver you from prison. Did I not assure you that 
he had not abandoned you as you thought, and that a 
little patience was necessary ?" I perceived from thèse 
words, that the length of time the gentleman I hâve 
mentioned had taken to let me know her condition 
had thrown her into despair. It was but too true : 
she had imagined that I thought no more about her, 
and this, added to the shock she had already sustained 
from her misfortunes, had caused her to fall into a slow 
fever, which had eventually reduced her to the plight 
she was now in. She well understood what her com- 
panion was saying, and casting her eyes to the right 
and to the left, to see where I was (for her sight was so 
dim, that she could hardly see three paces in front of 
her), she eventually perceived me, because I had 
approached her bed. "You come too late," said she; 
'• whose fault it is I am unaware : you much better than 
I can tell. It will cost me my life, and I well know 
I am about to lose it." I tried to cheer her, and as I 
had no reason to fear doing harm to the man who 
had let me know where she was, since I had told M. le 
Cardinal how I had got the information, and he had 
not been displeased, I did not think I should be 


acting unwisely by informing her that, if my succour 
had been so long in coming, she ought not to blâme 
me. However, this was giving explanations to a 
person not in a state to understand them ; she had 
not two hours to live, and, indeed, expired at the 
beginning of the night. 

I need hardly say, it appears to me, that I was very 
much grieved. This is easily to be believed without 
my being obliged to swear to it : consequently, though 
I had promised the Archbishop of Lion to go to supper 
with him, I was so little in a condition to keep my 
Word that I despatched a note begging him to excuse me. 
My valet, who was there, did not conceal from him 
what prevented me, and, as the prelate in question 
was a very gentlemanly man, he sent one of his suite 
to testify his sympathy with me in my affliction. 
Assuredly it was a great one. I had lost a fortune 
which was not to be recovered every day — a woman, 
who had an income of twenty thousand solid livres, and 
who, besides ail this, had loved me so much as to hâve 
reproached me more on seeing me for my inconstancy 
than bewailed her own misfortunes. Had I been 
really guilty, as she had maintained, it would hâve 
been enough to hâve made me die of grief and con- 
fusion ; but, having nothing to reproach myself with 
on that score, I had but to overcome my sorrow for the 
loss of my time and my hopes. I did not think it 
opportune to again take the post, which I should hâve 
done in another frame of mind. I should then hâve 
returned pretty quickly to overcome the opposition 
which had been raised against our banns, and which 
had been left in the same state since the lady's im- 
prisonment. Not that her présence would hâve been 


necessary, unless people should hâve made attempts to 
worry us any more, which, nevertheless, I did not 
believe, after the way I had regaled my chevalier, 
since he would certainly hâve been afraid of a fresh 
thrashing, had he continued to trouble us further. 
Besides, as it would not hâve been seemly for me to 
return with her, I should hâve had to hâve returned 
alone, so as to avoid the slander which would not hâve 
failed to hâve been let loose, had we been seen travelling 
together before being married. However, her death 
exempting me from both thèse things, in spite of 
myself I returned by Rouanne, resolved to take the 
river there. I considered that this was a place for me in 
which to muse quite peacefully. I reckoned on going 
thence on a journey to St. Dié, to see whether poor 
Montigré's death had not emboldened Rosnai to return. 
He might think, as indeed was true, that I no longer 
had anyone there to let me know of his stay. I was 
eager to surprise him, and though it was playing a 
** devilish Italian '* to cherish my resentment so long, I 
had every désire to be one on this occasion, although 
on ail others I did not scruple to déclare myself 
opposed to that nation. 

I took hired horses from Lion as far as Rouanne, 
and proceeded quietly to the latter place, so as to 
abandon myself on the way to everything which my 
sad thoughts might suggest. I made a thousand reso- 
lutions which I never kept. I promised myself never 
to become attached to any woman, and, having 
embarked still in the same frame of mind, so resolute 
did I appear, that there was no one there who would 
not hâve said that I was about to give up the fair sex 
for ail the rest of my life. Indeed, so strong was this 


détermination in me, that, had we yet been in the time 
of those knight-errants who hâve provided material for 
so many volumes, I should not hâve failed to sport 
some " device " to show ail the ladies that they had 
nothing to hope for from me. However, as we were a 
long way from those days, I contented myself with 
making this resolution secretly, determined to keep it 
better than I had done in the past. In this way I 
embarked on the Loire, after having taken for myself 
alone what is in that country called a "cabane." I went 
down this river to Orléans, where, enquiring if Mr. 
Rosnai was at his house, I learned that he had some 
days since appeared there. As I did not lack for 
money, I bought a fine horse in that town and another 
for my valet. Thèse horses were absolutely essential 
to me for my plan, as, before my purchase, I was neither 
in a condition to undertake anything nor yet to escape, 
did occasion need. Rosnai (I do not know how) was 
warned that an individual had enquired about him at 
Orléans. Notwithstanding the years which had elapsed 
since our quarrel, my image was so firmly impressed 
upon his imagination, that, had he been a woman and 
about to conceive, he would not hâve failed to produce 
a child resembling me. He at once mounted horse and 
fled far away. Thus I missed my chance, and being 
besides enraged at the loss I had sustained, I resolved 
to make my vengeance fall upon someone else. I 
perceived, in addition, that it would be useless to 
think of catching him, since he had concealed his 
route so cleverly, that no one could tell where he had 
gone. The Chevalier de la Carlière was the object 
which I made take his place in my mind. I even 
wondered why I had not given him the préférence, 


since it was more natural for me to think of him than 
the other man, after the loss I had just sustained. 
Indeed, as, after his friend, he was the chief cause of 
my misfortune, it was quite right for me to punish him. 
Be this as it may, considering, after having missed 
Rosnai, that there was nothing which could satisfy me 
but putting some fresh affront upon the chevaHer, I 
left the place I was in with the fixed idea of not spar- 
ing him. I even reached Paris without this keenness 
having slackened. Meanwhile, as I was a little way 
the other side of the Pont-Neuf, I was obliged to stop. 
I found a terrible obstruction of carnages and carts 
by reason of an exécution which was about to take 
place at the Croix du Tiroir ^ This block threw me 
into such a rage with the Parisians, that I could not 
prevent myself a thousand times inwardly calling them 
by the name of "loafers," which is their usual nickname. 
For truly they are accustomed to be such fools as to 
occupy themselves with certain things, which other 
people would blush with shame at. Nevertheless, if 
there is one thing they should be biamed for, it is more 
for running to ail the exécutions which take place in 
this city, than for anything else they may do. In spite 
of no week passing by without an exécution taking 
place in Paris, there are people who regard themselves 
as lost if they miss one of them. They rush there as 
to a wedding, and, to see their eagerness and anxiety, 
one would call them the most barbarous people in the 
world, since there is a kind of cruelty in seeing one's 
fellow-creature suffer. I did what I could to pass, 
before seeing those about to be executed. I was not like 

I The Croix du Tiroir or du Trahoir was at the corner of 
the Rue de l'Arbre Sec and the Rue St. Honoré. 


ail those I saw around me : already I would hâve 
desired to be a thousand leagues away. Far from 
enjoying thèse kind of scènes, there was nothing I 
would not hâve done to avoid them. For this reason, 
after having tried to force my way through, and seeing 
I could not succeed because of the crowd, I attempted 
to retrace my steps. I was already well in the middle 
of the Rue de l'Arbre Sec and so far on in it, that I was 
not a long way from the gibbets which had been pre- 
pared for those wretched people. Meanwhile, as the 
crush was just as great in front as behind, as the un- 
fortunates came that way, I was compelled to stand 
aside like other people, to allow the archers who were 
escorting them to pass. The leading ones were already 
in sight, and from ail appearance the criminals 
were not far behind. Thèse archers had just taken 
them from Fort l'Evêque, a prison where coiners are 
usually confined. The condemned men were accused 
of coining or rather of having clipped some pistoles, at 
least, so the murmurs I heard around me declared. I 
also heard say that there was a woman of their gang, who 
was very pretty, a thing which inspired me with the 
curiosity to turn my head in her direction, when the 
cart, in which she was, approached me, but whiist 
making endeavours to look at her, I descried my 
Chevalier de la Carlière, who was quite close to her. 
He was about to be despatched, together with another 
man just as well-built as himself. Never was man so 
astonished as I at this sight and quite dumfounded. 
I became a good deal more so a moment later. The 
tumbril having stopped right in front of me, no sooner 
did my chevalier recognise my face, than he called out, 
"Ahl M. d'Artagnan, this is a nice ending for a man 


like myself, who has moved in fine society. True it 
is that I hâve well deserved my fate. However, noth- 
ing pains me so much as that which I did by evil 
advice. I caused letters to be written by the person 
you see hère at my side, in order to ruin Madame 

She is in prison at Pierre-Encise. Strive 

to liberate her : it will not be difficuit, since I hâve con- 
fessed everything before M. le Lieutenant Criminel. 
I ask her pardon and yours too, for I know your 
interest in her." 

Thèse words, addressed to me before a crowd by a 
man who was about to be hung in a minute, pained me 
nearly as much as if I had been as guilty as himself. 
Meanwhile, as he again entreated me to consent to 
forgive him, so that he might die like a good Christian, 
I found myself forced to speak, in spite of the confusion 
I was in. Our conversation was, nevertheless, not a 
lengthy one, as may be imagined. I contented myself 
with the answer that I freely forgave him, and, the 
tumbril passing on at that moment, the chevalier went 
to the doom he deserved. Immediately ail those who 
had heard him address me began not only to eye me, but 
also to warn their neighbours that one of the malefactors 
had recognised an accomplice. In conséquence, I soon 
had a number of observers, who expected every minute 
that I should be arrested, so that, before at most twice 
twenty-four hours were over, I might be made to suffer 
the same ignominy which the chevalier had just under- 
gone. Only the people near me could not believe what 
the others so easily concluded. For, as they had heard 
word for word what the criminal had said to me, they 
were well aware that I was not guilty, unless they 
wished to deceive themselves. I became more con- 


fused than ever, when I saw so many people with their 
eyes fixed upon me. I strongly suspected what most 
of them thought, for, as one is always far more 
apt to believe evil than good, it was enough that the 
criminal should hâve said a word to me for it to be 
interpreted to my préjudice. This made me make a 
fresh attempt to extricate myself from the crowd I was 
in. The onlookers were quite scandahsed, because 
they imagined that I only did this to escape. They 
accordingly set up a hue and cry after me, no more 
nor less than if I had been a mad dog. 

As thèse criminals were much like bullies, and as 
the archers might well think that ail this disturbance 
arose only because some people had appeared to rescue 
them, they began to turn their heads in my direction 
and place themselves on the défensive. This caused 
some diversion in my favour. Their horses, which 
were restless, having jostled the people who pressed 
most closely upon them, they in turn pressed back 
upon others, and thèse did the same thing to those 
behind them, so much so that never had been seen 
such disorder and confusion as then prevailed amidst 
ail this noble assemblage. This stopped me more 
than ever from extricating myself, and as the archers 
continued to urge the condemned towards the gallows, 
they began to make the woman, who was to dance this 
gloomy measure, mount the scaffold. Upon this, each 
of the onlookers began to avert their eyes from me, to 
cast them upon this wretched créature. Accordingly, I 
no longer had any more cause to show confusion, and 
this woman having at last sufîered the penalty her 
crime deserved, and likewise the two others after her, 
the exécution was no sooner over than the whole 


crowd dispersed, some in one direction, somein another, 
In this way did I find myself delivered, not only from 
the predicament I had been in for the last hour, 
but also from the encounter which I had previously 

Meanwhile, the time arrived when I was to pay the 
penalty of the mistake, which I had made in losing the 
bill I had formerly drawn to Montigré/ It had fallen 
into the hands of goodness knows who, but, in short, 
as it must hâve been into those of some wretch who 
tried to make money out of everything, he made such 
search to discover who this Montigré might be, that 
he at last discovered. As he was dead, he could not 
approach him with a view to obtaining some présent in 
return for giving it back to him, but as things were 
thus, he went to find his lawyer, whom he asked for 
the name of his heirs. The lawyer replied that there 
were none. He had died insolvent, and owed one man 
alone more than ten thousand crowns for costs and 
for other things of that kind, in which he had been 
cast. The man enquired who this man might be, to 
learn apparently, if he would be likely to make some 
arrangement about his bill. As I was the debtor, he 
concluded that, if my enemy got it into his hands, he 
might exercise his rights against me. The lawyer told 
him Rosnai's name, and the name of his agent in 
Paris. The individual at once went to find this man of 
business, and, having enquired of him where he could 
get news of his master, and seeing him equivocate (for 
he did not know his object in coming to ask for it), he 
told him frankly the reason of his visit. Rosnai was at 
Paris, concealed in a vile hole. His pettifogger went 
I See Vol. I,, p. 52. 


to find him, and reported to him (as he knew that he 
was only hiding on my account) that he had found 
an 'affair to cause me some unpleasantness. Rosnai 
enquired of him what this was, and, having been told, 
replied that he must take good care that this was net 
some feint to catch him. I could not get hold of him, 
I was perhaps by thèse means trying to lure him into 
some snare. He was not so mad as to trust in this, 
but, if the man who had come to see the lawyer was 
trustworthy, it would soon appear by his not scrupHng 
to give up the bill without his being himself obHged to 
appear. The pettifogger thought he was right, and, as 
he had told the man to return, and he would then give 
him his answer, he awaited him with confidence. The 
man did not fail to make his reappearance ; he was too 
sharp-set to let such an opportunity slip. He got a 
few crowns for his bill, and, no sooner was it in 
Rosnai's hands, than, by the advice of his pettifogger 
or from his own idea (for he was malicious enough to 
want no teaching), he had given me a writ secretly, 
setting forth my sentence to pay him this sum instead 
of Montigré. This writ, which was preceded by an 
exécution which he had carried out in my house, 
seemed drawn up in due form. He further did ail the 
other mean tricks usual on such occasions, when people 
try to carry through anything illégal. He even got me 
condemned by default. I took care not to oppose it, 
because ail his procédure was of the same nature as 
the beginning of it, that is to say, entirely unknown 
to me. 

Ail thèse proceedings were taken against me, and 
this master-rogue, who knew how to plead a good deal 
better than how to fight, having afterwards let the 


matter slumber for some time, I of a sudden found 
myself the victim of an affront, which a cleverer man 
than myself could never hâve avoided. Rosnai had 
had me condemned to pay the sum of money, or go to 
prison by default ; so, being one day at the Palais ^ 
with ladies who wanted to make some purchases there, 
I found myself seized, when I least suspected it, by a 
dozen archers, who threw me into the " conciergerie," 
before I had time to draw my sword to stop them 
doing such a thing. Had I been alone, I should a 
thousand times more easily hâve consoled myself than 
at its happening to me in such good company. At the 
moment, I found myself utterly crestfallen, especially 
when I perceived that I had been placed between two 
barriers, so that the turnkeys might observe whether I 
was looking well, for this is the procédure with regard 
to those who are put in prison. Thèse kind of people 
must hâve time, and a place to make their observations, 
so as to know their game, otherwise it might escape 
every day, and this is a précaution which they consider 
too necessary to make any omissions in. 

One of the ladies with whom I had been was the 
wife of a conseiller des requêtes at the Palais. She 
had présence of mind enough to tell her husband, who 
was one of my friends, the accident which had just 
happened. In spite of his being in his chambers, 
where a matter of importance was proceeding, it did 
not appear so pressing to him as to go and see how he 
could help me, and he set out that morning and came 
to the " conciergerie." It was no laughing matter for me. 

I Lace stuffs and perfumes were sold in the great gallery and 
Salle des Pas Perdus of the Palais de Justice. Shops existed 
there up to 1842. 


I had been stuck on a seat like a monkey, without 
even being allowed to cover my face with my hands. 
No enquiries were made as to whether I had a head- 
ache, and, did I try to put up my hands, a man would 
at once corne forward to say, " Lower your hand, 
this is no place for concealment." My conseiller 
might, perhaps, not hâve been able to stop laughing 
at seeing the figure I eut, had it not been that he was 
afraid of paining me the more, should he yield to his 
inclination. He therefore took a serions tone, though 
he was in no mood for it, and on his asking me what 
might be the cause of the affront put upon me, I 
innocently answered that I had no idea, as, indeed, was 
true. I must, said I, hâve been taken for someone 
else, as I had nothing against me, either criminal or 
civil. He retorted that I had no curiosity not to hâve 
found eut on my arrivai. I ought to hâve enquired 
of the gaoler, who would hâve given me a copy of 
the entry of my committal, had I asked for it. In reply 
I said that, to follow his advice, I should first hâve had 
to hâve known of it. I hardly knew even now, when 
he was speaking to me, what an entry of committal 
meant. I had never heard anything of ail this, and, 
having left my home at an âge when one knows 
nothing about a prison, I, who had always exclusively 
concerned myself with a career of arms, was now 
no wiser than then. The only prison I had any 
knowledge of was that of our soldiers ; but, as he was 
better informed about thèse things, I would beg him 
to do everything necessary. 

The conseiller, without answering, ordered the gaoler 
to tell him why I had been arrested. The man at once 
obeyed, and, no sooner did I learn that it was Rosnai 
VOL. II 10 


who had played me this trick, than I very nearly fell to 
the ground. I told him that I had paid/ and that the 
merchant to whom I had confided my money would 
prove it at the right time and place. I also told how 
he had returned me my bill, and how I had lost it. 
The conseiller replied that this was so much the worse 
for me, and that I should hâve difficulty in getting out 
of this trouble without paying a second time. The 
procédure, in virtue of which I had been arrested, was 
quite légal, but, luckily for me, the fortunate thing was 
that I should not die of paying twice over. Though it 
was not pleasant to do so, he would, nevertheless, 
advise me to console myself. Fretting was of no use, 
and, as the thing was done, and neither I nor anyone 
else could help it, the shortest way was to deposit the 
sum I was asked for — I could afterwards défend myself 
as I might deem best — always supposing that I would 
not take his opinion, but, meanwhile, I must, at ail 
events, obtain my libération. If, added he, I had not 
the money upon me (as happened every day to the 
greatest people), he would send home for it. He even 
believed that I should not hâve to wait for its arrivai 
to regain my liberty, because, when he should hâve 
given his word to the gaoler to himself pay out the 
sum, he was certain that he would make no difficulty 
about opening the prison gâtes for me. 

There was no need for him to take this trouble. I 
had fifty louis d'or with me, which was much more 
than was wanted to get out of this business. But, as 
I thought it very hard to pay what I did not owe, I do 
not know if I could ever hâve reconciled myself to 
foUow his advice, had he not declared that, as long as 
I Vol. I., p. 52. 


I did not take it, I should never leave prison, and that, 
as this affair would take a long time to be argued 
before being cleared up, I should bave full time to be 
thoroughly bored. He was not sure even that I ought 
not to rather consent to the yielding up of the coins 
which I had to deposit, than to oppose it. No doubts 
were in bis mind as to my having paid the sum as 
I had described, but, as I had no receipt, and form 
and even law appeared to be against me, I must learn 
to kiss the rod and leave to God the avenging of the 
injustice put upon me. As he had once before said, by 
good luck it was not much which was demanded of me, 
and he would now repeat it, so that I might not 
persist in prosecuting a suit, which would give me more 
sorrow than satisfaction, even were I to chance to 
gain it. 

I was, for my sins, a little obstinate, though I had 
always heard say, that it was best to prefer the opinion 
of one's friend to one's own. Indeed, without reflecting 
upon his advice (so excellent and so sensible !), I was 
so self-opinionated, that I would only believe a portion 
of what he told me. As a matter of fact, I made the 
deposit as he had advised, but having, in spite of him, 
tried to oppose the paying over of this money, I began 
to play a part in which there is never any honour or 
profit. I tried to prove how I had paid the money. 
This would not hâve been hard, had one witnessonly been 
necessary, or had Montigré been still alive. He would 
not bave refused me his évidence, and this would hâve 
confirmed that which the man whom I had paid could 
not hâve helped giving, directly he should be cited to 
do so. However, as in thèse kind of affairs there are 
written laws, which the judges are obliged to follow, 

10 — 2 


they might be well aware that justice was with me, yet 
that did not stop them from condemning me as the 
loser. Nevertheless, this was only after a number of 
lawsuits — as many on one side as the other. I fell, 
by bad luck, into the hands of a lawyer who knew more 
than others about pettifogging. Knowing nothing, I 
let him act, and, besides, every day he would promise 
to get me my costs paid. In this way he got I do not 
know how much money out of me. But what hurt 
me more than anything else, though this was already 
enough, as I had not money at will, was, that I myself 
was cast in damages to Rosnai to the extent of two 
thousand five hundred Hvres. As the King had not 
yet abohshed personal imprisonment for debt, as he 
has since done, this made me tremble. I had even 
been thrown into gaol for a lesser sum, so had good 
reason to fear I should be made to return there, since 
this debt was much more important than the other, 
Besides, had the King already forbidden the arrest for 
debt of people, it would not hâve affected me, since he 
had excepted those whose costs exceeded two hundred 
livres. I did not possess the money either in cash or 
in stock, without selling my post: so, not knowing 
what to do to pay it, I thoroughly hated myself for not 
having believed my friend. 

The sentence of four months was, meanwhile, 
announced to me, and thèse had hardly expired, when 
I received an unsigned note from an unknown hand. 
I found it at home on my return from the Comedy, to 
which I had gone. I was asked for a pleasant enough 
rendezvous, and was told that I should the next day, 
between two and three after dinner, find a hired 
carriage drawn up at three paces from below the Porte 


St. Antoine. I was to get into it and would find a 
woman, who was dying for love of me. As (so the 
note ran) I came from a province, where riches did 
not abound, she would bring me three hundred pistoles 
as a proof of her goodwill. Nevertheless, she did not 
want me to recognise her, which was the reason she 
would see me only with a mask on her face. My want 
of money would hâve even made me allow her to hâve 
a sack over her head, had she wished it ! I betook my- 
self to the rendezvous an hour before the appointed 
time, so afraid was I of missing it. The lady had not 
yet arrived there, but only a short time elapsing before 
I descried a carriage approaching, I thought it was 
hers : anyone else would hâve thought the same in my 
place, as it at once stopped at the very spot she had 
sent me word of. Accordingly, not doubting in any 
way that it was she whom I had come to meet, I my- 
self let down the shutter of the carriage, for there were 
not as yet any fitted with glass as there are to-day. 
It was M. le Prince, who, on his return from being 
with the enemy, introduced this fashion into France, 
which was previously unknown there, and which has 
crept in since. Be this as it may, having got into this 
carriage, beneath the curtain which was drawn I 
beheld one of the most beautiful women in France and 
one unknown to me. This lady had no mask on her 
face, so that, not knowing whether she who had 
penned the missive had not announced she would 
wear such a thing, the more agreeably to surprise me, 
or whether I was mistaking one carriage for another, 
" Madame," said I, without further introduction, " is it 
I for whom you are waiting hère, or am I playing an 
indiscreet part by presenting myself before you with- 


out being sent for? It is true I hâve a rendezvous, 
but the lady, who ordered me to corne and find her, 
also informed me at the same time that she would wear 
a mask on her face, so I know not how to interpret 
what I see. I came hère with the idea of doing her 
good service without being acquainted with her, but 
what would I not do if 'tis you — you who are one of the 
most beautiful women in the world ? " My compli- 
ments, which promised much, might perhaps hâve 
made her pay some attention to my person, had not 
another had possession of her heart, so, after having 
blushed at my words and at seeing herself alone with 
me, a man whom she did not know, she replied, that it 
was not I she expected, and she would advise me 
without formality to get out of the carriage, for fear 
of missing my rendezvous. The coachman, who had 
seen me lower the shutter, had at the same time got 
off his box to close it upon me. He had then re- 
mounted it, and awaited the order of one of us as to 
where he was to go, before touching it again. Accord- 
ingly, wishing myself to lower the shutter, so as not 
to disoblige the lady, just as if it had not been painful 
to me to see such a dainty morsel fall into the hands of 
another, I found myself faced by three or four men 
who bade me not take so much trouble, since there was 
no need for it. 

Thèse men ail had the look of archers, and this they 
indeed were: so, in spite of my knowing that the period 
of four months had not yet expired, I feared that 
Rosnai had once again played me one of his tricks, 
and turned pale as death. The lady did the same no 
less than myself: she was married, and being aware 
that she had no easy-going husband, immediately 


suspected that it was he who was having her 
arrested. At the same time, four archers placed 
themselves at both the shutters, two on one side, two 
on the other, and thus conveyed us to the Grand 
Châtelet. We were both separated, and the lieu- 
tenant criminel having been ordered to interrogate me 
on behalf of the court, where the husband was held in 
much esteem, I did not trifle with this magistrate. I 
frankly declared to him that I did not know this lady, 
and that, another fair one having given me a rendezvous 
at the same place where I had found her, I had got 
into her carriage ; that she had at once told me to 
leave it, because she was not the woman I took her for. 
I had tried to do her bidding, but had been at once 
arrested. For her part, the lady said just the same 
thing. Nevertheless, on being asked what she had 
corne to do there, and being heckled about it, she had 
présence of mind enough to say that she had come to 
watch for her husband, who was perpetually flirting. 
He was pretty well known for this, because indeed he 
was always doing what he wanted to prevent others 
from embarking upon ; so, having given more colour of 
truth to her defence than she could hâve hoped for, 
her husband was advised to leave the whole matter 
alone, since, whatever success he might hâve, it would 
but recoil upon his own head. His friends even told 
him that he ought to be well pleased that his wife had 
cleared herself as she had done ; that, as there was 
neither profit nor honour in going deeper into the 
affair, this was the best advice they could give him. 
He would not believe them, knowing that there was a 
certain courtier who pressed his wife hard, and so took 
as much pains to hâve himself declared a cuckold as 


anyone else would hâve done to hâve proved her 

As it was not I upon whom his suspicion fell, he 
abandoned the proceedings he had taken against me, 
sooner than those he had begun against her. I let 
them dispute as long as they hked, and, having left 
prison without trying to sue him for expenses, damages 
and interest, in spite of my lawyer promising to obtain 
me a judgment for them, I felt not at ail pleased with 
this adventure, which^had made me miss my rendezvous. 
Above ail, I regretted the three hundred pistoles, which 
were to hâve been brought me, and of which I stood 
in such great need. For now the appointed four 
months were about to expire, and I do not think there 
were eight days left. Nevertheless, the lady who had 
written to me had been at the rendezvous, and had 
even arrived there a minute after I had been arrested. 
She had, in conséquence, found a whole crowd of 
people, as occurs on thèse sort of occasions. She had 
been curious to know what this meant, and had made 
her coachman find out the reason. As there is 
always to be found someone who is better informed 
than other people, she had been given a fair account 
of its cause. Apparently, some archer had not been 
able to hold his tongue, and the news had spread in 
the neighbourhood. Such an accident should hâve 
made this woman chaste at the expense of the other 
lady. Like her, she had a husband, but either because 
he was less jealous than the other man, or that the 
lady's example did not aifect her, she waited for me 
for two good hours without moving from where she 
was. Ail the same, this did not fail to weary her ; she 
was far from thinking that I it was who had been 


captured with the lady, so she still continued to think 
that I should arrive from one moment to the other. 
Nevertheless, this was very useless, since for some 
time already I had been imprisoned. At last, having 
passed there the time I hâve mentioned, and not 
wanting to waste any more, she went away very 
puzzled as to what she ought to think of me. Indeed, 
if, on the one hand, she could imagine that I had 
missed the rendezvous from lack of esteem for herself, 
or perhaps, even because I had felt disgusted at the 
idea of the mask which she had told me she would 
wear, on the other, she felt sure that the three hundred 
pistoles she had spoken of would be a sufficiently 
attractive feature to make me overlook everything else. 
Accordingly, whilst she did not know what to think 
of my behaviour, she learned from current talk that 
I had been arrested with the lady. This at first 
inspired her with an inexpressible jealousy. She at 
once concluded that she need search for no other 
reason for my missing her rendezvous, but, the matter 
having been cleared up by my examination and that of 
her supposed rival, she calmed the uneasiness of her 
mind. She was of opinion that she had been wrong 
to accuse me, and that she was the more obliged to 
wish me well, since this catastrophe had happened 
through love of herself; so, no sooner had she left the 
Palais, than she wrote me a second note. It was just 
in the same style as the first, except that, instead of 
the Porte St. Antoine, she chose the Porte St. Honoré 
for her rendezvous. There was also this différence, 
that, instead of the three hundred pistoles she had the 
first time told me of, she now promised me four 
hundred as a recompense, as she said, for my having 


been imprisoned on her account. I thought this note 
written in the finest manner in the world, though 
anyone else, who was not to get so much good out 
of it, might, perhaps, hâve deemed it more shameless 
than well written. I did not fail to appear at the spot 
she appointed at the right hour, and no jealous person 
was there to raise any obstacle at this rendezvous as 
on the other occasion. 

We did not enter any house during the whole of the 
time we passed together after dinner. We only took a 
turn in the Bois de Boulogne, and, as I was eager to 
see her face uncovered, I besought her so persistently, 
that I did not believe she could refuse me this. She 
had, however, such control over her mind that what- 
ever entreaty I might make proved useless. Her reply 
was, that she did not wish to forfeit myesteem, a thing 
which must infallibly happen, were she foolish enough 
to grant what I asked. As long as I did not see her 
face, she was sure of my not quitting her for anyone 
else, or, at least, did I do so, I should, perhaps, gain 
nothing by changing. Indeed, she was aware that 
if nature had illtreated her in one way, it had recom- 
pensed her in another. She must stop there, and not 
lose by her own fault in one minute what might with a 
little discrétion be preserved as long as our intimacy 
lasted. By this she wanted me to understand that she 
was ill-favoured, and would lose by showing herself. 
Nevertheless, I would not believe a word of it, and 
was none too wrong. We returned in this way to 
Paris, and, having asked me for another rendezvous, I 
told her she might choose it wherever she liked, for 
she would always find me ready to be at her service. 
This next time we went towards Vincennes, and, 


observing that I entreated her to enter some house 
without always remaining in the carriage, as we had 
done on the other occasion, she asked me if I knew of 
any from personal knowledge, and I made reply, that 
I knew of none : dissipation was not my way, but 
I thought that, everywhere we might go, we should be 
as well received as if we were skilled in such matters. 
In the outskirts of Paris everyone made a trade and 
profession of pleasing his neighbour, so we had only 
to stop at the first door to get it opened on both sides. 
She burst out laughing at my answer and, tellingme to 
take her where I Hked, for she abandoned herself to my 
guidance, we betook ourselves to Montreuil to a house 
where there was a very fine garden. I asked her the 
same favour as I had done on our first interview — that 
is to say, to complète my happiness by showing herself 
to me. She replied that I would then always be 
incorrigible. She had already warned me that, had 
I the slightest esteem for her, such a thing would 
make me instantly lose it. Her answer did not satisfy 
me, so much so that I pressed her more than ever. 
Upon this she said that, as I was so obstinate in my 
idea that there were no means of dissuading me, she 
was ready to meet my wishes at the risk of everything 
which might happen. At the same time, she took off 
her mask and, indeed, did make me colder than marble. 
Nevertheless, it was not on account of what she had 
seemed to threaten me with — far from that, she was as 
beautiful as a fine day — but because I at once recog- 
nised her as the wife of one of my best friends. 
Indeed, this is why I had sometimes already told 
myself, while observing her, that she had much of her 
appearance. Nevertheless, what had banished the 


thought of its being the same lady was, that I did 
not in any way consider her in a condition to make me 
the présent she had done. Her husband was not rich, 
and she must hâve won this money at some game 
I did not know of, to find herself in a state to bestow 
such gênerons gifts. 

She at once thoroughly understood that my position 
as an intimate friend caused me a tremendous struggle. 
" So," she said, continuing, " I was right in telHng you 
that, no sooner shouldyou see me, thanyou would at once 
cease to love me. I am, nevertheless, no less lovable, 
and I ought to appear to you much more so than any 
other woman, if you will thoroughly reflect on every- 
thing. Think what I am doing hère for your sake, 
and, since my love for you is the sole cause, be con- 
vinced that you can never be grateful enough. Be 
sure, I repeat, that you can never pass in the mind of 
honourable people except as an ungrateful man, if you 
ever forget that the power of my love has made me 
not only override the honour I owed my husband, but 
also everything which I owe to myself. It also seems 
to me," she went on, " that, without in any way re- 
proaching you, you should take into account the présent 
I hâve made you. You are aware that we do not 
•'shovel up money," if I may use the phrase, to show 
you that my husband and myself are not well off, but I 
learned in short, that you needed this help, and, although 
it costs me nothing, as I won it at basset, this does not 
disprove the fact that any other woman who had less 
considération for you would hâve been eager to keep it." 

I know not if it was thèse words which of a sudden 
changed my mind, or if her beauty alone produced that 
effect, but at last, forcing myself to quite forget her 


lîusband and giving myself entirely to her, I did what 
I could to demonstrate that she would never hâve 
reason to complain of me. Nevertheless, I felt scruples 
at having taken her money, and wanting to return her 
what still was left me of it (for I had already spent a 
good part to extricate myself from the affair with 
Rosnai), she would never consent to receive it back. 
She told me that, when a woman went so far as to 
give her heart, everything else should cost her nothing. 
This was the only reason she would give me and, as ail 
her ways were just as fascinating as her appearance, 
I began to love her so madly that I would not live a 
moment without her. We had, however, in spite of 
our mutual affection (for she loved me no less than I 
loved her) to soon separate. The war at Bordeaux 
still continued, and, as it was a rising which might 
produce civil war ail over again in the heart of the 
State, M. le Cardinal thought it best to send me to 
that province. For this reason, I was not pleased 
when his Eminence told me to grease my boots to set 
out for Bordeaux ; but, as at Court one must not say 
ail one thinks, and also still less show that one gauges a 
Minister's thoughts, I looked just as delighted as if 
I had been satisfied. He fixed my departure for the 
i5th of February, and made me corne into his closet 
the evening before ; he told me to set out for Poitou, 
and I should find orders there as to what I was to do. 
He had previously sent there the Abbé de Beaumont, 
Bishop of Rhodes, though he was the King's tutor, and 
this post does not allow the holder to leave the Court. 
He was an old courtier who had served his apprentice- 
ship in a good school. He had been one of Cardinal 
Richelieu's men, and it is he whom we hâve since seen 


Archbishop of Paris under the name of Péréfixe.* 
This abbé had taken as pretext for the voyage his 
wanting his native air to recover from a languishing 
sickness. Nevertheless, he was about as ill as I was, 
but a certain quack then at Court had given him some 
drug, which made the complexion yellow at will, and 
he had made use of it to cause people to beheve that 
he was really unwell. The Abbé de Beaumont was not 
one of the greatest geniuses in the world ; his good 
luck and his friends had conducted him more than 
Personal worth to the position he occupied. Besides, 
the Cardinal who, very far from wanting to hâve the 
King brought up as befitted a great prince, would hâve 
been delighted to hâve made a sham king of him, so 
as to always keep the power in his own hands, had 
taken more care to choose a tutor devoted to his own 
interests than a clever man. Nevertheless, as it is the 
smallest minds which make the most fuss, so that one 
may think them everything they are not — no sooner 
had I gone to see the Abbé de Beaumont, than he took 
it into his head to look at me, just as he might hâve 
done at one of his schoolboys. He adopted the tone 
of a schoolmaster towards me, and told me that, M. le 
Cardinal honouring me as he was doing by his friend- 
ship, I ought not only to be very grateful, but further 
try to render myself worthy of his esteem. The very 
best thing I could do to succeed in this was, not only 
to be very discreet, but also not to exceed by a syllable 
the orders given me by him or by those he relied on. 
Having thus read me this lesson in a few words, he added, 
to show me, I think, that he had not wasted his time 
I Hardouin de Beaumont de Péréfixe, 1605-1671, author of 
the life of Henri IV. 


under his former master, that not only must I proceed 
to Bordeaux incognito, but also disguised as a hermit ; 
for this reason, I had done well to let my beard grow, 
since it was necessary that my whole get-up should 
correspond with my dress. 

I had indeed allowed it to grow by order of his 
Eminence. It may be that the abbé and himself had 
simultaneously resolved on my wearing the dress in 
question, or that the minister had decided upon this 
merely by advice of the former. It had often made 
my mistress, who did not Hke a long beard, grumble. 
I had not known what excuse to make to her, so much 
so, that we had very nearly quarrelled about it. She 
had accused me of being very ill-natured in such an 
earnest manner, that I had often had it on the tip of 
my tongue to tell her that, if I disobeyed her, it was 
only in spite of myself ; that I had had superior orders 
to do what I had done, and that she had only the 
minister to blâme if I did not obey her. Meanwhile, 
as I already knew that secrecy must be maintained, 
thoUgh the abbé had not as yet given me my lesson, 
I contented myself with telling her to reconcile my 
love and my duty, that there was a mystery in ail this, 
and that I would some day tell her the reason. This 
woman, who resembled most of her sex, that is to say, 
was extremely curions, would not grant me the time I 
asked, She worried me to tell her my secret at once, 
and, taking care not to do so, I was obliged to look out 
for what is known as a " bouncing lie," to put her off 
the scent. Accordingly, instead of telling her the real 
reason for my letting my beard grow, I made her 
believe that M. le Cardinal had bet me a 
the Guards that I could never remain a year without 


having it shaved off, that I had not wanted to tell hei 
before, for, as this wager had been made only between 
us two, he might perhaps not be pleased, were he to 
discover that I had spoken to anyone about it. For 
this reason, I would beg her not to speak to no matter 
who on the subject, since she would most likely be 
sorry that I should lose such a chance through a slip 
of the tongue. She sincerely promised to say nothing, 
but, being a woman, and as, the more they are 
entreated to do anything, the less they do it, I had no 
sooner gone away than, the secret lying heavy on her 
soûl, she tried to disembarrass herself of it. One of 
her friends having, whilst chatting, told her that I 
must hâve become hypochondriacal, by reason of my 
trying to distinguish myself from other people by a 
great beard as I was doing, she made reply that, were 
ail mad people like me, lunatic asylums would no 
longer hâve any use. A company in the Guards was 
well worth the trouble ofwearing a beard, and there 
was no one in France who would not be well pleased, 
just as I was, to obtain such a good post so cheaply. 
The person whom she told would hâve understood 
nothing of ail this, had she not explained this mystery, 
but eventually, as, after saying so much, ail the rest 
cost her nothing, she soon informed him of everything 
I had let her know. 

The man to whom she told this news chanced to be 
just as credulous as she had been : so, the rumour 
going from him to someone else, and from the latter to 
a number of people, it eventually got round ail the 
Court, that the beard I had set out with was a certain 
token of my advancement. This was the more easily 
believed, as his Eminence would often make wagers, 


which gave much more reason for talk than this one. 
True is it that this was when he knew what he was 
about and was sure to be the winner. For instance, 
whenever there was anyone competing for some 
bénéfice, and he had money to pay for it, he would ask 
him if he would wager that he would not soon obtain a 
bishopric or an abbey. The wager was proportionate 
to what it might be worth, for, at the same time, 
he would stipulate that it should be a bishopric or an 
abbey of such an income, and, as the Cardinal could 
bestow them as he chose, it always turned out that he 
was a certain winner. 

As it was for me to obey ail orders given on behalf 
of his Eminence, the Abbé de Beaumont had no sooner 
told me that I must become a hermit, than I had the 
dress of one made. He himself took care to furnish 
me with the stuff, which his brother had made up in 
his house, as if he was afraid that, did I procure it 
elsewhere, it would cause our secret to be discovered. 
I had the dress put in a bag, and having taken post to 
the army of the Duc de Candale^ which was around 
Bordeaux, he sent it for me into the town, where it 
arrived before myself. I entered it in another get-up, 
just as if I had been a plain soldier, who was retiring 
to his province. The town was divided into several 
factions, one of the principal of which was the one 
called the " Ormistes." This was a mass of every 
kind of riff-raff such as had formerly risen against 
the King of Spain in the Kingdom of Naples,^ which 

1 Louis Charles Gaston de Nogaret de Foix, Duc de Caudale, 
son of the Duc d'Épernon, 1627-1658. 

2 The Neapolitan revolt against the Duc d'Arcos, the 
Spanish Viceroy, headed by Masaniello, which broke out on 
July 7th, 1647. 



nevertheless had corne near losing him this fine state. 
This name arose from the insurgents having held their 
first meetings beneath an elm. Their number had at 
first been very limited, as usually is the case at the 
commencement of a revolt. But it had so much 
increased since, that it was now fully forty thousand 
men. They had from the first been obnoxious to 
everyone ahke, for they breathed but cruelty and 
pillage. They maintained themselves by their numbers 
and the cleverness of their leaders, who made the peu- 
ple believe that they would never lower their arms, till 
ail taxes should be abolished. From what they said, 
they even aspired to change the form of government, 
and establish a republic in the province after the 
example of what had been done in England, and with 
this idea they had sent to Cromvvell to crave his pro- 
tection in such a great undertaking; either because 
they really did contemplate such a thing, or vvere 
merely anxious to hâve it believed, because of their 
interests being concerned. However, this man, who 
was a clever politician, had not wanted to embroil 
himself in their business, nor in that of M. le Prince. 
In spite of this, it was not on account of his not 
having sent to entreat him just as they had done, but 
Cromwell was of opinion that, whatever fine proposai 
might be made him by either side, there was too much 
danger attached for him to trust in it. He knew that 
he already had too many enemies in England, without 
his drawing yet fresh ones upon himself in France, 
where the populace would soon return to its duty. 
He knew its affection for his Majesty, and that our 
nation was in no way like his own, which thinks no 
more of kings than of the humblest private individuals. 

LEFT the camp of M. de Candale dis- 
guised as I hâve just said. At a hundred 
paces from the town, I found a body of 
thèse "Ormistes," who were, at least, four or 
five thousand men in number. The Duc de 
^ " Candale had got me a passport from one named 
Orteste, their gênerai, as well as from the 
gênerais of the other factions ; so, having nothing to 
fear from their brutality, I gave them an account of 
whence I came and where I was going, as they wanted 
it from my own lips, though they had already read it in 
my passport. One of their captains, Las Florides by 
name, before whom I had been conducted, then began 
to call me his comrade, and to déclare that I must join 
with him. I appeared to be a good fellow, and he 
would make me benefit more by bearing arms in his 
Company than I had ever done in the King's troops. 
Meanwhile, he wanted me to do away with my beard, 
because it did not at ail befit a soldier, I replied that, 
as long as I had been a soldier, I had been turned out 
like one, but now that I thought of taking up another 
profession, I equipped myself according to the state of 
life I contemplated. He at once asked me if I wanted 

II — 2 


to be a capuchin, because only the capuchins wore long 
beards. I rejoined that I was eager to be one, since 
there was nothing better than to dedicate oneself to 
God, but, as it was necessary to hâve studied to be 
admitted amongst them, and I, so to speak, did not 
know A from B, I should content myself with being a 
hermit. I was anxious to tell him this, so that, if by 
chance he were to see me in the dress I had bought, I 
should not be an object of suspicion to him. 

Hearing me speak thus, some Ormistes took to 
jeering at me. As they were heedless of their salvation 
by bearingarms, as they were doing, against their King, 
they did not understand that a man could thus dream 
of changing his life. Las Florides, who no more than 
they dreamt of doing the duty of a Christian (which 
consists just as much in rendering one's prince what 
is due as in rendering it to God), and who was a scoffer, 
told them they were wrong to be astonished at such a 
trifling thing. Did they not know very well that the 
Devil had become a hermit when he had grown old, 
and that everyone was eager to copy him ? By this, 
he wanted to tell them that, when a man was laden 
with crimes, God sometimes was merciful enough to 
let him reform himself. However, either because they 
would not enter into the joke, or because they were 
inclined to make him chatter, they declared that, if the 
Devil had only become a hermit when he was old, I 
ought not to be allowed to do the same thing, as I did 
not as yet appear to be thirty years of âge. This was 
giving up the world too soon, and, if he would take 
their advice, he would oblige me to make war in 
Company with himself. Las Florides then told me 
that I must clearly perceive that everyone opposed my 


idea, and that he woiild not let me go. I laughingly 
retorted, as he was speaking in the same joking way, 
that I would appeal to their gênerai Orteste. My 
passport was signed by him, and he would never permit 
its provisions to be broken ; in any case, were he to 
oppose me as those about me now were doing, I would 
at least ask him to make me the hermit of their troops, 
so as in some way to carry out my oath. I had sworn 
to be one, and mayhap he would not let me be a 
perjurer. There were almoners in régiments, and 
hermit or almoner was nearly the same thing. Las 
Florides declared that I had no need to rely upon this 
favour, for he would grant it me just as well as the 
gênerai, and I had but to speak. His real reason for 
wanting me was, because he had observed in my 
passport that I had served twelve entire years in the 
Guards. It must be known that he had of a sudden 
been made one of the chiefs of thèse rebels, without 
having any other qualification than having killed a 
number of oxen and sheep. He had been a butcher 
ail his life, but, because he had been used to shedding 
the blood of thèse animais, his comrades had thought 
that he would just as easily shed that of men. Never- 
theless, whenever he had any order to give, he found 
himself as much embarrassed as he had been the first 
time he had to help others to kill an ox. For this 
reason, he was eager for me to remain with him to tell 
him what to do when there was need. He much pre- 
ferred my telling him to one of his own people, because 
he looked upon me as much less important than those 
who had raised him to his présent position. 

His wishes and mine were pretty much the same. 
His idea was to keep me by him, and mine to stay, so 


as to find out anything which went on amongst the 
rebels. Acccrdingly, not standing out for the con- 
ditions I had proposed to him, I found myself un- 
expectedly in a position to render his Majesty great 
services. The rebels, though they knew nothing of 
warfare, did not fail to make themselves feared, and 
knew very well how to serve their own interests. They 
stopped ail the vessels which went up and down the 
Garonne, and this brought them in great sums. Las 
Florides became my friend, because I would some- 
times warn him against certain foolish things, into 
which he was about to plunge, and which would hâve 
made him a laughing-stock. Nevertheless, I did this 
only when the King's interests were not concerned. I 
also gave two or three pièces of information to M. de 
Caudale, which were of great use to that gênerai, and 
by which he did not fail to profit. The first of thèse 
was, that I indicated to him the spies of Las Florides in 
his camp, not that he should hâve them arrested, but 
to catch their sender in a snare. I had already 
adopted my hermit's dress, and was known by no 
other name amongst the rebels than as the hermit of 
" those of good résolve." Meanwhile, false information 
had been conveyed to Las Florides by his spies, whom 
the Duc de Caudale had, owing to my information, 
deceived, and, trusting entirely in the reports made 
him, he took twelve hundred Ormistes to make an 
attack with. Las Florides took me with him without, 
nevertheless, letting me know any of his plans. Both 
of us, however, set out in a very happy frame of mind, 
he by reason of his great hopes, and I on account of 
mine. I was mounted as a regular St. George, Las 
Florides having lent me a Spanish horse, which was 


well worth a hundred good pistoles. I had my robe 
tucked up to my belt, and, as my eyes sparkled with 
joy to see him on the point of being defeated, my 
appearance pleased him so much, that he owned to me 
that, even had I not told him of my having been 
a soldier, he would hâve clearly perceived it. 

In this way we discussed one thing and another, 
without my trying to ask him where he was going. I 
should even hâve been very sorry if he had volunteered 
the information. I wished him to go so far ahead that 
there could be no turning back, and so my advice to 
him must come so late that it would be useless. 

When we reached the spot where the spies had 
informed Las Florides that he would be easily able 
to overcome a small body of the King's troops, he 
found eight hundred men instead of the two hundred 
he had expected. The first disagreeable thing which 
happened and made him suspect the truth of the 
reports furnished him, was the report of a pièce of 
ordnance. To speak the truth, it was not a loud 
report, being but a four-pounder, but, small as it was, 
it did not fail to frighten Las Florides a good deal. It 
was a little field-piece, which the people of the duc 
had brought with them, to announce to the larger body 
of troops that they must be on their guard and they 
would soon see the enemy retreat. 

Directly Las Florides heard the report he changed 
colour, and, observing that terror had already overcome 
him to such a degree that he no longer knew what he 
was doing, I asked him if the people of Bordeaux had 
not some garrison near the spot. He answered no, 
and, asking me in turn what ail this meant, I replied, 
not wishing to flatter him, that it meant nothinir else 


except that he was betrayed. I tried much more to 
further increase his fears than to allay them, and so, 
having hardly the strength left to answer me, I noticed 
that he was hesitating, and even stammering, as if he 
was already at the point of death. 

In this way we proceeded in some sort of order 
to the entrance of the défile, which I knew very well 
was guarded. No sooner did Las Florides descry the 
enemy than he cried out to me that ail was lost. I 
asked him if he would not try to assault it, but he took 
care not to answer, having already fled, and I soon 
lost sight of him. His men were in despair at seeing 
themselves thus abandoned. I now began to play the 
swaggerer, and told them they must rush to the 
assault, since there was no other way of saving our- 
selves. Some of them believed me and got themselves 
killed like madmen. Others laid down their arms, 
whilst others (but a very small number) were lucky 
enough to escape. Meanwhile, as there were some 
amongst thèse runaways who had thrown down their 
arms to be able to escape quicker and more safely, 
I picked up a musket, with which I fired a shot into 
my cloak which I had put against a tree at thirty 
paces distance. There were three balls in the musket, 
which each made a hole, and having next thrown it 
over my shoulders, I went back to the city quite proud 
of the réputation I should gain amongst the rebels 
for having run such a great risk, without meeting with 
any other accident than having my cloak shot through. 
Not a soûl had seen what I had done ; I had taken 
good care of that — and, as I was sure that no one 
would ever believe that thèse holes were my handiwork, 
I conceived that this would be useful to me to still 


further gain the confidence of the insurgents, and that 
not one of them would fail to take me for a desperate 

Las Florides reached Bordeaux before me, having 
luckily for himself found a way guarded by no one. 
He was very much ashamed of his mishap, especially 
after having got out of the crowd, as he had done, 
without having dared to fire a shot. He was delighted 
that I had escaped as well as himself, perhaps as 
much from love of his horse, which he had thought 
lost, as from love of myself. He was one of the first 
to perceive the shots in my cloak. I had taken care 
to put them in a prominent place, and had been 
careful not to make them in the back part. I wanted 
to acquire the réputation of having shown a bold front 
to the foe, so as to further sustain the high estimation 
which I expected Las Florides would hold me in. 
Indeed, he did not fail to tell everyone, and Orteste 
amongst others, that I was a first-class man both for 
giving advice and carrying it out. That I had pre- 
dicted everything which had happened, and that, had 
he been willing to believe me, he would not hâve made 
such a forward fight as he had done. Having thus 
the approbation of my gênerai, I took care not to 
raise suspicions in anyone. Everybody wanted to see 
my cloak, so as to marvel at my adventure. It made 
the round of the city for four or five days, and there 
was no respectable house which did not désire to 
see it. 

The Abbé Sarrasin,^ secretary to the Prince de Conti, 
to whom the Abbé de Beamont had recommended me 

I Jean François Sarrasin, 1603-1654, a writer whose works 
are now completely forgotten. 


to enter upon my negotiations, did not knovv how to 
reconcile evçrything reported of me with the part I 
had corne to play on behalf of the Court. To negoti- 
ate on its behalf and fight against it, were two things 
which appeared to him incompatible. He spoke to 
me about it, begging me to explain matters. I did not 
think fit to do so, for I knew that there were things, 
the knowledge of which it was good to reserve for one- 
self alone. I merely told him that there were certain 
times, in which chance occasionally interfered, such, 
for instance, as my to-day finding myself amongst the 
Ormistes, which I had in no way anticipated when 
coming to Bordeaux, but, as I was now pledged to 
them, I must of necessity play my part to the end. It 
was for him to end ail this when he liked, and the 
sooner the better. 

This abbé was exactly the same man from whose 
pen we to-day hâve some works, which are valuable 
enough, and which he issued under his own name. 
M. le Cardinal had promised him money and a bénéfice, 
if he could detach his master, the Prince de Conti, from 
the side of the Prince de Condé. Sarrasin at once told 
me that this would be very difficult, because he drew a 
great pension from the Spaniards, and was, besides, 
fond of being in command, a thing he would lose once 
he returned to his duty ; in addition, he had a mistress 
in the town, who would oppose such an arrangement. 
She was clever enough to clearly perceive that he 
would proceed to the Court directly he had made his 
peace with it. He was fond of the ladies, and it was 
very much to be feared that at certain moments he 
might confide to her what was going on. 

AU this was literally true ; so, having informed the 



Abbé de Beaumont of it, so that he might let the 
Cardinal know, I warned him at the same time that, if 
he wanted to overcome this obstacle, I thought it best 
for his Eminence to send me some fripperies from Paris 
to give to the lady. By thèse means, I should get 
into her good grâces, and then one might utilise her 
to finish the work Sarrasin had begun. That mean- 
while, so that the prince might be favourably infîuenced, 
I thought a wife should be proposed to him. M. le 
Cardinal had still sufficient nièces to marry off, not to 
be embarrassed to find one for him. His ecclesiastical 
State was not, I added, to his liking, though the cassock 
served well enough to conceal the defects^ of his figure. 
Thus, this might perhaps be arranged as well as every- 
thing else, since he was of a disposition not to fall less 
in love with the nièce of his Eminence, than he had 
done a year or two back with Mademoiselle de 

The Abbé de Beaumont had returned to Court with- 
out my knowing anything about it. His Eminence 
had seen fit to make him come back from Poitou from 
fear of a more prolonged absence arousing some 
suspicion. I was consequently much longer than I 
thought in receiving an answer and at once concluded 
that it was but because I had asked for some présent. 
I knew the Cardinal well enough to be aware that his 
practice was to only give as little as possible. Never- 
theless, no one could hâve been more mistaken. My 
proposition of a marriage of his nièce with the Prince 
de Conti had so altered his ideas, that he had no 
sooner scanned my letter, than he resolved to believe 
me in everything. He had, therefore, at once given 

I The Prince de Conti was hunch-backed. 


orders for the présents I asked for to be purchased. 
He had them conveyed to me by means of the Duc de 
Candale, and I received them from the hands of his 
secretary, whom he had sent into the town to negotiate 
about the ransom of some prisoners taken on both 
sides. It did not appear novel or extraordinary that 
this duc should send some frippery into it. He had 
stayed there quite long enough, while his father was 
its governor, to hâve some mistresses in the place. It 
accorded well with his âge and inclinations, for he was 
extremely libéral and was only twenty-four years old. 
People even thought they knew for whom thèse 
présents were meant, always supposing that it had 
been the duc who sent them. For there were others 
who suspected it to be his father, because, whatever 
âge he might be, he was no more nor less given to 
gallantry or love than his son. 

Nevertheless, the arrivai of présents in the parcel 
coming to this secretary might perhaps not hâve been 
discovered, had not the Ormistes, partly by force and 
partly on account of the jealousy which prevailed 
between the Prince de Conti and the Comte de 
Marcin, got the gâtes of the city into their charge. 

Thèse Ormistes, having thus control of the gâtes, 
would not let the parcel enter without inspecting it. 
They had been afraid lest the Duc de Candale should 
hâve put something prejudicial to themselves in it, 
knowing him to be devoted, not only to the interests 
of his Majesty, but also to those of the Cardinal. 
They had, therefore, looked thoroughly into it to the 
very least things, and especially into the présents sent 
me. For, as they were extremely avaricious of other 
peoples' goods, everything; precious or rare tempted 


them in a way the}' could not resist. Accordingly, 
an hour after the parcel had arrived, its contents were 
known. This disconcerted me ; I wanted to make my 
gifts secretly, and I perceived my hopes shattered. 
My grief, however, was not to be compared to that of 
the wives of two conseillers of the Parlement of 
Bordeaux, who expected that thèse présents were for 
them. The duc had flirted with both of them, so 
much so that, each thinking that her rival had received 
them to her loss, they very nearly disfigured one 
another at the house of one of their mutual friends 
where they by chance met. At first they began to 
mutually bicker over nothing ; then, insensibly passing 
to bad language, both were so indiscreet as to reproach 
each other for having accepted thèse présents without 
observing that the people présent must infallibly take it 
as a proof of their lack of virtue. I learned of this 
dispute and was delighted at it, reflecting that I should 
do no harm by fomenting the false reports, since 
nothing could occasion a more favourable diversion 
for myself. There were also some tiffs between the 
mistresses of the Duc d'Épernon. They were under 
the impression that thèse présents came from him and 
that they had been distributed by the secretary to the 
favourite, without their having obtained the smallest 

Whilst ail this was going on, and everybody was 
delighting, like myself, in setting thèse women one 
against the other, I very softly insinuated myself with 
the lady with whom I had to do. My cloak adventure 
had procured me my iirst interview. She, like other 
people, had been curious to see it ; and either because 
I flattered myself, or because I had some reason for 


doing so, I imagined that I perceived in her eyes 
something so favourable towards me, that I took it 
into my head that, had I been able to appear before 
her in a différent dress from the one I was now in, I 
might perhaps hâve made some impression upon her 
heart. It was on the occasion of my first conversation 
with her that I thought I perceived such goodwill 
towards me. I built up on ail this a plan, which 
should hâve frightened me, considering my great beard, 
but which I did not cease to try and carry out. I 
resolved to play the lover. Nevertheless, I did not 
want to do so openly. I deemed that a little mystery 
would become me better, especially as I had to do 
with a woman who must feel proud of seeing herself 
loved by a prince of the blood. I had adopted the 
expédient, the better to play the part I was taking, of 
entering every house to ask for alms, not that I had 
need of doing so, for, thanks be to God, I did not lack 
for money. I had two hundred pistoles in a purse, 
and, in addition, I had as much as I liked to eat at 
the house of Las Florides. For this reason, he was 
unwilling that I should thus go and beg, telling me 
every day that it was neither seemly nor honourable 
for a man who wanted for nothing. He even declared 
that doing what I did was robbing the poor of bread. 
My excuse was, that I was thus carrying out my calling. 
I replied that mendicity should be the appanage of a 
hermit, and pulled him up short with such a good 
excuse ; so, seeing that ail his remonstrances were of no 
avail, he let me do as I liked. Indeed, besides thinking 
that this was the essence of my new vocation, I always 
learned something new in the houses which I entered. 
I tried to profit by this, and not always unsuccessfuUy. 


I went very often to the lady's house, and even at 
hours when everybody was not allowed to go. I would 
even occasionally^ from fear of meeting someone, catch 
her at the moment of rising. I wanted to take my 
time to advance my interests with her, or, to be more 
accurate, to advance those of the Cardinal. Be this as 
it may, taking care to call often, she began to delight 
in touching my heart, She suspected that it was 
already shghtly affected, since I visited her so fre- 
quently. Accordingly, deeming it either a thing to be 
proud of or a real achievement, to be able to say that 
she had captivated a poor hermit, she made use of ail 
the charms she possessed, and of ail she could borrow^, 
to place me amongst the number of her admirers. 

I soon perceived her intention. It was not hard to 
divine, even had it been only from the flattering things 
she would say to me. Ten times a day she would talk 
of my courage, and, when I played the hypocrite to 
make her speak the more, she would déclare that it 
was useless for me to prétend so much modesty, since 
my cloak showed well enough what I was ! Eventually, 
I let her say what she liked, thinking that I should 
gain more by agreeing with ail she said than by con- 
tradicting her as I had at first done. I was, indeed, 
eager to make her ponder over my vocation, almost 
giving her to understand that I was not what I 
appeared to be. With this end in view, I replied 
one day when she was again speaking to me in 
this strain, that she would cease to wonder, did she 
know ail I knew. She was unable to make out what 
I meant by this, and, as to drop a word with two 
meanings is enough to strangely excite a woman's 
curiosity, this lady, who was even more inquisitive 


than others, would not let me alone till I had 
explained this riddle. To excite her the more, I said 
that I had let this sHp by chance, and that she must 
pay no attention to it. I succeeded none too badly in 
my plan ; indeed, far from taking this hterally, she 
showed herself so assiduous in trying to get my secret 
eut of me, that I was at last obliged to bid her take 
patience at least till the morrow. She had great 
trouble in consenting, but eventually, seeing that the 
space of time was not a long one, she made me promise 
to return the next day at the same time. I came even 
earlier than she had bidden me, so much so that, 
having found her in bed, she at once told me that I 
was a man of my word and that there was pleasure in 
having to do with me. I rejoined that my hope was 
always to be able to retain this good opinion in her 
thoughts, but that I was much afraid of losing it, once I 
should hâve satisfied her curiosity. For this reason I 
had not the strength to tell her anything, so that, if 
she wanted to know my secret, she must herself take 
the trouble to read it from a paper on which I had 
written it and which I was quite ready to give her, the 
moment she should command me to do so. 

The lady was more inquisitive than discreet, so, 
though she much suspected that this could only be a 
déclaration of love that I wanted to give her, she told 
me without ceremony that she would take everything 
I might présent to her. I was holding a packet, quite 
ready to give it her or replace it in my pocket accord- 
ing to the answer she might give, but seeing her 
already stretching out a hand to take it, I gave 
her that which I had been holding, and at once went 
out as if nothing had happened. I took my time for 


her to undo it. She had plainly seen me leave and 
might hâve called me back, had she desired to do so. 
But, having felt that the packet I had given her was 
heavier than a letter, and not knowing what it could 
be, she wanted to examine it sooner than anything 
else. This packet contained fifty sheets of paper one 
upon the other, just as if I had been eager to keep her 
occupied till I had made my exit. At ail events she 
believed that this had been my reason for having 
arranged such a number, that she thought she would 
never corne to the end of them. Be this as it may, 
after having had the patience to turn them ail over 
one after the other, and to examine them to see if 
there was not one with writing upon it, she found 
underneath a portrait in miniature which was on the 
lid of a box. 

She could not divine what this meant, not finding that 
this portrait had any connection with what I had 
promised her. At first this made her form a strange 
opinion about me. She believed me to hâve more 
than one profession, and taking it into her head that 
I had undertaken to give her this présent for someone 
else, she opened the box to see who my employer 
might be. She was wrong to entertain this suspicion 
as she did. I had never been the sort of man to work 
for another, and though at Court this kind of in- 
dividual is not very rare, such a thing had always 
been distasteful to me, so much so, that those who 
indulged in it had never passed as anything else in 
my estimation but as persons devoid of honour and 
undeserving of being even looked at. For this reason, 
no matter what other good points they might hâve, I 
esteemed them even less than mountebanks or quacks. 

VOL. r 12 


However, putting ail this on one side, the lady, having 
done so much as to undo ail thèse papers, went on to 
open the box, as she was not the woman to stop half- 
way. There she found my picture, not at full length, 
but from my belt upwards, as is usual in thèse sort of 
portraits. I was attired in a cuirass like a hero of the 
first rank. It is true, I had not copied Besmaux, who, 
having his full-length picture recently painted, mounted 
on a fine horse, a patch at the corner of his eye, and 
armed from head to foot, has also arranged that his 
hand should be adorned with a bâton with fleurs de lis 
upon it, such as is given to gênerais in the army ! 
Nevertheless, ail his services reduce themselves to 
what I hâve before spoken of, and to having since 
kept watch over the prisoners at the Bastille ! Be 
this as it may, not having been in a mood to imitate 
him, I did not fail to pass for quite another person 
in the lady's mind to the one I had described myself as 
being in my passport. Beginning in conséquence to 
examine me more closely than she had yet done, she 
discovered that, were I to rid myself of my costume 
and my beard, I should be well worth her listening to 
me. I left her two days without returning to see her, 
so as to give her ail the time necessary to adopt such 
a line of conduct as the circumstances warranted. 
Before committing myself, I was anxious to see whether 
she would be in a mood to inform the Prince de Conti 
of what had happened. Sarrasin, whom I had not 
only told that I wanted to play the lover, but who 
further had himself advised me to do so, had promised 
to let me know, in case she should hâve a désire to 
speak about it. His master had no secrets from him, 
especially in thèse kind of affairs. By pretending to 


approve of ail his foUies, Sarrasin had found means of 
having them recounted to him one after the other ! 
He even wrote most of the prince's letters about them, 
as well as others of greater conséquence. Sarrasin, I 
repeat, having to warn me of everything which was 
taking place, I could hâve got out of the business by 
sounding a retreat in good time. Ail my measures 
were already taken to that end. I knew of a place 
where the Ormistes kept a bad guard, and whence it 
would be easy to reach the army of the Duc de 
Candale. However, I had no need of resorting to 
such an expédient. The lady had never disfigured 
anyone for murmuring soft things in her ear. As a 
matter of fact, very far from wanting to begin with me, 
she was, on the contrary, dying of impatience to see 
me again, so as to learn much which she could not 
make out. I seemed to her to be a sort of man much 
more worthy of monopolising her heart than the 
prince, who believed himself to possess it. Besides, 
being an inquisitive woman, as I hâve just said, she 
wanted to know who I might be and by what chance I, 
who came from the Court, had fallen in love with her, 
and, finally, whether she was the true cause of my 
having exchanged my soldier's dress for a hermit's robe. 
I had taken aîTThe necessary measures with Sarrasin. 
He had instructed me well enough; besides, I myself 
was not too obtuse by nature, which had furnished me 
with a fairly good tongue and Sound enough judgment 
to boot. True it is that it is not for me to say so, but 
in short, what use is there in pretending modesty, when 
truth is in question ? Every kind of deceit is good for 
nothing, and it is much better to boldly take the field 
than remain a hypocrite for I do not know how long. 

12 — 2 


Eventually, the two days of which I hâve spoken 
having passed without my hearing any news, I returned 
to the lady's house. I chose a time at which she was 
still in bed. Without ceremony, I sat down by her 
bed-side and pretended to hardly dare look at her, the 
better to cause her to believe in my thorough earnest- 
ness. "Is it you, M. l'Hermite?" said she. "Will 
you not tell me how much longer your disguise is to 
last?" "As long as I can keep it up, madame," I 
quickly retorted, " since I hâve come from Paris ex- 
pressly to see you, and would, indeed, hâve gone to 
search for you at the end of the worJd, had there been 
need." She told me laughingly that I must then be 
extraordinarily in love ; so, perceiving that she wanted 
to laugh, I deemed that I ought to laugh too. I began 
to be enterprising, but the lady, being of opinion that 
it was a little too soon for this kind of thing, checked 
my véhémence and told me that, though I was a monk 
in dress only, I had assimilated ail the monkish in- 
clinations, when I had assumed the robe I now wore. 
Monks, at least, were accused of wanting to come to 
the point directly they could, in which, indeed, they 
were none too wrong, once they found women in a 
mood to humour them, but, as regards herself, who 
did not wish to be one of thèse, I must not only 
remember whom I was with, but also show her more 
respect. With a courtier's effrontery, I rejoined that, 
even were she not the lady for a monk, I could not 
show her more respect than by doing what I had 
done. Respect could only arise from great esteem, 
and one could not show a lady that one really respected 
her, except by desiring to enjoy her faveurs. 

This seemed quite a novel kind of morality to her, 


and she would hâve nothing to do with it. I thus had 

to contain myself, in violence to my own feelings. For 

very little was wanted to excite me, when I was priding 

myself on taking the place of a prince of the blood. 

Meanwhile, though she placed limits on my ardour, I 

thought I discerned that she did so rather for form's 

sake than from real decency. For this reason, without 

wishing to put me out of countenance any more than 

she had done when I had given her my portrait, she 

enquired of me how long it was since I had fallen in 

love with her and how such a thing had happened ? 

Indeed, unless I were to let her know, she could form 

no idea, She knew that I had only come into the 

city a short time back, that I had the same day 

assumed the garb I now wore ; so, if I had only 

adopted it on her account, as I was now trying to make 

her believe, my passion must hâve been already well 

aroused before I left the place whence I had come. I 

had plainly told her, when I had tried to enter upon 

intimate relations with her, every sort of thing which I 

thought likely to prove tempting, and, as this disguise 

was not one of the least useful tricks in my bag, I had 

taken good care not to be behindhand with it. Accord- 

ingly, it now being merely a question of satisfying her 

curiosity, I declared that, if she would search her 

memory thoroughly, she would remember a certain 

painter, who had been with the Prince de Conti only 

about five or six months before. This would be the 

easier for her to do, because she herself had made him 

paint her portrait. As a matter of fact, he had kept a 

copy for himxself at the same time, and, having seen it 

in his workroom at Paris, I had thought it so beautiful 

that I had endeavoured to obtain it at no matter what 


price. I had, in conséquence, given him ail he had 
asked for it, and, from often casting my eyes upon it, I 
had fallen so much in love with the person it depicted, 
that I had determined to corne and find her. I had 
learnt from this painter whose portrait it was and 
where I might find the original. He had, besides, 
told me that I was not the only one who had let 
himself be captivated. The Prince de Condé had 
given her his heart, and, as it was a dangerous thing 
to avow oneself the rival of a person of that rank, I 
had decided that I could do no better than conceal 
my passion from him beneath the garb I now wore. 
Besides, I imagined that it was absolutely necessary 
for me to adopt a disguise, for I might be recognised 
from having been seen at Court. I had, therefore, 
allowed my beard to grow, so that there was not a soûl 
who to-day was not taken in. 

Hère is the account I gave her. It did not prove 
displeasing, as she was vain enough to take such a 
story seriously. She considered that her worth was 
doubled by it, and having asked to see the copy which 
I had just told her of, I showed her one which 
Sarrasin had had specially made for me by the best 
painter of the town. This I kissed thousands of times 
before her, to better and better persuade her that what 
I had just related was not a fable. I did not woo her 
badly by doing this, and as she was a woman, and 
there is none who is not weak enough to take pleasure 
in seeing herself loved, even though it be but by a 
groom, she told me with a gracious air that, whether 
ail I had just told her was a fabrication or the truth, 
I had narrated it with so much grâce, that she had 
derived almost as much enjoyment from it as when 


she was at a play. She next wanted to know who I was, 
wishing apparently to décide from what I might say 
about my rank, if I was worthy to fill the place of a 
lover of such conséquence as hers was. 

I was very near passing myself off for quite another 
person than I was, so as to further flatter her vanity. 
But, eventually considering that someone might recog- 
nise me, and that this could not happen without my 
being put to shame, I made myself out neither greater 
nor less than God had caused me to be born. Never- 
theless, I was very much mortified at being yet a 
subaltern (though I was not yet as old as are now 
Servon and Soupir, who both held only the same 
rank I held then, and who hâve, ail the same, already 
passed the greater portion of their life in it), and 
considered my réputation was affected by not being 
as yet a captain. In spite of this, as in the provinces 
it is thought that everything which approaches the 
King's person is rather worthy of envy than compas- 
sion, the humble individual that I was in no way 
disgusted the lady. I even made daily progress in her 
good grâces, so much so that I perceived myself in a 
condition to shortly propose to her to make the Prince 
de Conti return to his duty. 

It is true that what thoroughly served me to gain 
her confidence was my presenting her with every- 
thing the Cardinal had sent me. I began by the 
smallest object, because I had not yet told her that 
ail this came from him. It was I who obtained the 
crédit for it, so I was eager that my gift should 
appear proportionate to my means, or at least that, 
if it should seem in any way beyond them, she might 
attribute it to my affection. She was not ungrateful, 


deeming that she ought to do everything for a man 
who was doing more for her than he really could. I 
was just as well treated as she treated the Prince de 
Conti. But, before deciding on this, she did a very 
peculiar thing, so as not to embrace me with my 
beard, and one which even deserves to be detailed. 

This beard displeased her as beards usually displease 
ail ladies. She did not dare to tell me to get rid of it, 
because she would hâve been afraid of my accusing her 
of being more solicitous for her own pleasure than for 
my safety. Such being the case, she told Las Florides, 
whom she had protected with the Prince de Conti at 
the beginning of the rule of the Ormistes, that she 
thought me very comical for a hermit. I must be 
made drunk, and hâve my beard eut off whilst asleep. 
I should be very astonished when I awoke, and there 
would be fun in seeing the face I should pull, when I 
found myself caught in such a way. Las Florides, 
who asked nothing better than to humour her, and 
whose line besides it was to amuse himself at other 
people's expense, at once promised that he would 
satisfy her before three or four days should hâve 
elapsed. Not a day passed by that a boat laden with 
wine of Langon^ did not corne by the position which 
he was holding. He had had a cask given to him, 
being of opinion that it was excellent. He had already 
made me taste it, to see if I found it just as good as he 
did, I should hâve had to hâve been extremely fas- 
tidious not to hâve shared his taste, so, even outbidding 
him, instead of declaring it excellent, as he had done, 
I told him it was excellentissime. He replied, that he 
was dehghted at my finding it so good, and this being 

I Langon is a town which produces, or did produce, wine of 
a very alcoholic and strong nature. 


so, declared himself anxious that we should hâve a 
drinking-bout together, directly the wine should hâve 
settled itself. 

Nevertheless, the King's troops did not give him too 
much time for such a thing. They were beginning to 
press the town very hard, especially since they had 
found means of winning over a certain foreign colonel, 
who was in one of the principal forts v^hich the be- 
sieged still held on the Garonne. This fort even 
defended the mouth of that river, so much so that the 
loss was one which could not be repaired. M. de 
Candale had himself drawn up the agreement, and had 
then sent it on to me to give it the finishing touch. 
This colonel was an Irishman, and was called Islan, 
a man of rank of that country. Ail the same, his 
appetite had not been proportionate to his nobility. 
He had treated us very gently, though, had he known 
his business, he might hâve extracted a sufficient sum 
from the Court to hâve procured the finest estate in 
the whole of Ireland. He had been satisfied with two 
thousand pistoles as the price of his treachery, a sum 
which I caused to be advanced to him by a banker to 
whom I had letters of crédit. I had donned another 
dress to go and visit him, and, although he was very 
surprised to see me with such a great beard, he had no 
idea I was "the hermit of the people of good résolve." 
If he had heard speak of me, he had never seen me. 
He only left his house to go to the Bourse ; from the 
Bourse he returned to his counter, and, though he was 
more than sixty years of âge, he had never done 
anything else. 

Such was the state of affairs outside the city, while 
within there was even more danger. Most of the 
members of the Parlement and the chief citizens, who 


had always hated the tyranny of the Ormistes, began 
to be more than ever weary of it : so they each had 
their plot to return to that allegiance which they owed 
to their sovereign. Ail this was very capable of 
alarming Orteste and ail his accomplices, and conse- 
quently, of preventing Las Florides from amusing 
himself at my expense. However, at last, his liking 
for the lady and the bent he had for pleasure having 
led him to omit making any reflections on the state of 
affairs, he invited some of his friends as well as myself 
to the opening of a great duck pasty which he had 
received as a présent. This pasty was well accom- 
panied. He had provided himself with everything 
excellent the season could provide for a great banquet, 
and, as he had told thèse guests that he would wash ail 
this down with the best wine they had ever drunk, 
everyone came thoroughly determined to drink deep 
and heartily. 

It was now so long since I had lost the habit of 
drinking the wine of Langon (which is full of liqueur 
and potent) that, in conséquence, it went to my head 
more than to other people's. Wishing for this reason 
not to overload my digestion with it, I frankly told the 
Company that the poor hermit wanted to go and lie 
down. If Las Florides had not desired to play me the 
trick he wanted to do, he would never hâve allowed 
me to be found wanting in public in this way, but, 
having his plan, he told one of his servants to take me 
to a room he mentioned. A quarter of an hour later 
(perhaps a little less or a little more) he sent to see 
what I was doing. I had lain down on a bed, on 
which I had no sooner thrown myself than I had 
fallen asleep. I was even snoring in as loud a manner 


as if I had been asthmatic, either from being in an 
uncomfortable position, or from the wine producing 
that effect upon me, and I might hâve been heard at 
the end of the street. Las Florides, without informing 
anyone that the lady in question had begged him to 
hâve my beard shaved off, told the people that I ought 
to be played the trick in question. Like myself, they 
had drunk a good deal, so, as there is no devilry which 
people do not think of when in that condition, they 
did not tarry long between the proposition and its 
exécution. Las Florides had ordered the best barber 
in the tovvn to hold himself in readiness with some 
good razors for such time as he should send for him. 
Such an order had slightly embarrassed this poor man. 
He had been afraid that it was only to carry out some 
more dangerous and more criminal opération than the 
one he was wanted for. Las Florides possessed a 
pretty enough wife, and, as she bore the réputation 
of not contenting herself with her husband, this barber 
thought that, having discovered some gallant with her, 
he wanted to put him into such a state as never 
again to divert himself with his neighbour's wife ! 
Perceiving, however, on his arrivai at the place where 
I was, that the thing wanted of him was not of the 
nature he anticipated, he became quite reassured, from 
having before been ail of a tremble. Accordingly, 
when he was asked if he could shave my beard com- 
pletely off without my awaking, he made reply that he 
could not absolutely swear to such a thing, but, at ail 
events, he was very sure that, were he unable to 
succeed, anyone else would do no better than himself. 
He was told to begin, and, having first eut my beard 
with scissors, he then proceeded with the razor. I felt 


neither the one nor the other — in such a deep slumber 
vvas I plunged. I even slept half the night through at 
a stretch, but, waking eventually towards the middle, 
and having by chance raised my hand to my face, I 
was quite astounded to perceive myself no more nor 
less than are those who are accused of bringing bad 
luck. I at once suspected that this was a joke which 
had been played me, and, not being able to attribute it 
to Las Florides, I had not the very slightest suspicion 
that the lady had had any hand in it. My condition 
upset me, as, indeed, it must hâve upset every sensible 
man. I was afraid lest it should serve to cause me to 
be recognised, and that, as there were around the 
Prince de Conti a number of people who had been 
at Court, there might be someone to tell him that 
I had been but a hermit in dress alone. Besides, it 
was certain that the rumour of this joke would no 
sooner hâve spread round the city, than I should be 
mobbed like a bear-tamer by every kind of small child. 
This was in no way pleasant for an honourable man. 
Besides, the people who might be too wise to run after 
me like the rest would not always be able to help 
staring at me, and, in conséquence, must recognise me, 
if they had ever by chance seen me, though before 
they would not hâve dreamt of doing so. 

Thèse reflections, which appeared to me sensible 
enough, stopped me from closing my eyes ail the rest 
of the night. Those who had been présent at the 
banquet had slept at the house of Las Florides and 
got up early, like himself, to be présent at my rising. 
They were delighted at being about to see the face 
I should pull and amuse themselves at it in my very 
présence. However, they were very surprised to see 


that I was the first to burst out laughing, just as if 
I had been in no wise affected. I had taken my line, 
after having thought well over the matter. This line 
was, to abandon my hermit's dress, so as to avoid 
the affronts and inconveniences which I foresaw might 
arise, were I to think of putting it on again. Las 
Florides wanted to give me one of his suits. Both of 
us were about the same height, so that it would hâve 
fitted me very well, but I did not think it opportune to 
accept it, because I deemed it too magnificent for the 
position I wished to maintain in this part of the 
country. I was not eager for my costume to draw 
attention to myself. So, far from wanting to wear 
gold, I would willingly hâve put a sack over my 
head, had such a thing been permissible. Las Florides 
was wont to wear gold stuffs, since he had changed 
his knife for a sword, for he had previously been 
but a shoemaker and even one of those who do but 
little business. 

As I had retained the soldier's dress with which I 
had arrived, it seemed to me the right moment to 
adopt it again. This spared me a good deal of em- 
barrassment. For, as the news about my beard had 
already spread in the neighbourhood, everyone was 
only waiting to catch sight of my dress to call 

out "il a c au lit," as is done at Shrovetide. 

Indeed, there were already more than two hundred 
persons at each corner of the street in which Las 
Florides lived. They were even now quite ready to 
shout out their jokes after me, so, being afraid lest 
they should hâve been warned that I had changed 
my dress, and that they would greet me in the same 
way in the soldier's garb as in my former costume, 


I said to a groom of this Ormiste, who was a good 
sort of fool, that I would bet him a pistole that he did 
not dare to put on my hermit's robe, and go in it only 
through three streets from where we were. He had 
not, like myself, seen the crowd of people, and, even 
had he done so, would not hâve had the sensé to 
divine the reason of their assembling. Accordingly, 
being eager to win my pistole, he replied that he would 
make the wager whenever I liked. I answered that it 
should be that very moment, if he was ready, and at 
once taking me at my word, he immediately put on my 
monk's robe. The populace, which is clever enough 
in this part of the country, would not at first attack 
him. On the contrary, it withdrew into the other 
Street, to make him pass right into the middle, before 
he should hâve discovered what was on foot. The 
groom, who was quite ashamed, had not only lowered 
his hood for concealment, but held besides his hand 
in front of his face, to avoid récognition. His appear- 
ance alone sufficed to make thèse people believe that 
it was I ; so, no sooner had he passed, than they took 
to setting up a terrible clamour after him. At the 
same time, the crowd was increasing from every 
minute, and as I had suspected what was going to 
happen and already perceived that those at the corner 
which he had not as yet passed were running after the 
others, I passed right through the middle of the people 
and so extricated myself from the crowd. The poor 
groom was very embarrassed as to how to get out of the 
mess. Nevertheless, he kept calling out at every step 
that a pistole was a good thing to win, and that this was 
the reason of his having donned my costume. But as, 
in addition to the noise which this riff-raff made, he 


had bawled himself hoarse before being able to make 
a single word of what he was saying audible, he was 
eventually obliged to stop, because he found himself 
surrounded on ail sides. There he told the people 
that it was a question of his winning a pistole by 
going as far as a certain street. He had made the 
bet with me, and he would beg them not to stand 
in the way of his success. They opened their eyes 
at thèse words, and there were men présent who knew 
me and who began to perceive that this was not the 
man they wanted. They were carried away with rage, 
the wisest amongst them pointing out that I had 
cleverly deceived them. They would hâve immediately 
revenged themselves, had they dared, and would hâve 
gone to besiege the house of Las Florides, in which 
they still thought I was. However, the respect in 
which they were obliged to hold him, or rather, fear 
of his ferocity acting as a curb, which pulled them up 
short, they had to champ their bit, for lack of doing 
what they wanted to do. 

When Las Florides learned what I had done to avoid 
the insults prepared for me, he thought I had behaved 
like a clever man. Meanwhile, he did not know what 
had become of me, because, instead of returning to his 
house, I remained four whole days without giving him 
any news of myself. He tried to obtain some from 
every quarter, because at every moment things occurred 
in his new-found profession which made him want my 
advice. For this purpose he addressed himself to 
persons who could easily hâve enlightened him, had 
they cared to do so. He applied to the lady who had 
originated the joke played upon me. I had gone to 
her on leaving his house, but she told him that she 


had heard no more about me than himself. She had 
been quite astounded to see me in my présent state. 
Although, as a matter of fact, she was not expecting 
me to arrive at her house with a long beard for 
some time, she was not at ail prepared to see me 
appear without my usual dress. She asked me the 
reason of this change, and, as I was a long way from 
imagining that she herself was the cause of my having 
been rendered beardless, I was innocent enough to 
describe what had happened. She found it very 
amusing, and, thinking me even more to her taste 
than before, though my costume was not too becoming, 
she indulged in some pretty little ways which made 
me understand that, what she had not been willing to 
accord me before, she would grant me now. I did not 
need to be told twice, and, becoming at once good 
friends, she enquired, to keep up the conversation, who 
was it, did I think, that had played me the trick I had 
just spoken to her about ? As I was beginning to be 
on good terms with her, I replied that there she was 
asking me a merry question. My intelligence was not 
so limited as to accuse anyone else but Las Florides. 
It was he who had tried to amuse himself at my 
expense, but 1 would not forgive him for it, either 
in life nor death. 

She burst out laughing at this speech, and even so 
heartily, that I was quite shocked. For this reason I 
should at once hâve asked her in a very rough way 
where the joke lay, had it not been that she might 
hâve thought that I was taking such a liberty, only on 
account of the other one she had just let me take. 
Meanwhile, the more annoyed I appeared, the more 
she made game of me. She called me dupe more than 


a thousand times, and, not understanding what she 
meant by this, I was very nearly getting seriously angry 
with her. Nevertheless, I did not think such a thing 
would be wise for many reasons, so, begging her once 
again to let me know why she was thus jeering at me, 
she answered in a pleasant and bantering way, that I 
was to look well at her and afterwards say, whether a 
pretty woman such as herself would ever consent to 
share her couch with a monk. Thèse words were not 
yet sufficient to thoroughly enlighten me. Indeed, I 
think that I should hâve there and then obliged her to 
hâve explained herself in some other way, had she not 
immediately added that, further, there was more 
pleasure in admitting a soldier to one's bed as she had 
done, than a beard an ell long. 

I must not then blâme Las Florides, but herself, for 
my adventure, for she it was who had not been able to 
endure my great beard. Nevertheless, I ought not to 
regret its loss, for, if ail those who wore one knew that 
they had but to get rid of it to enjoy her favours, she 
presumed enough on her own attractions to flatter 
herself that no capuchins would be left in their convent ! 

She said this to me in such an agreeable way, that I 
at once proceeded to show her that, if I did not sport 
a monk's garb, I yet possessed ail his best qualities. 
She was extremely pleased with me, and, as I could go 
nowhere where I should be more comfortable, and was, 
besides, afraid of descending into the street, for fear 
of the mob and the small children, who would not hâve 
again failed to try and make me their plaything, I 
begged her to keep me in her house. She resolved the 
quicker to do this, as she had no husband who con- 
troUed her actions, and besides, she flattered herself 

VOL. II 12 


that I should make good return for her hospitality. Not 
that she was a widow ; on the contrary, she had been 
married but two years ago, and, in addition, had a 
husband who had not as yet any désire to die. How- 
ever, she had found means to get rid of him some days 
before, at the instigation of the Prince de Conti, who 
had bothered her a good deal on the subject. As it was 
his opinion that to possess a mistress was nothing at 
ail unless one could pass the night with her, he had 
been désirons that the man should set out on a journey, 
so as to give him time to do everything he wished. 
He had sent the husband into Flanders to his brother, 
to carry some complaints against Marcin. The Prince 
de Condé, who knew ail that went on at Bordeaux, just 
as well as if he had been there himself, listened placidly 
to the man. Meanwhile, as he had adopted the plan 
of telling everyone home truths, even including women, 
for whom one usually has some sort of considération, 
he at once replied that his brother had not desired his 
words to be believed, since he had chosen him to corne 
and speak of his affairs. He should hâve despatched a 
less suspicions person, in order to incline his mind to 
listen, for he was too interested a party not to add 
something of his own. He (the Prince de Condé) was 
sorry to hâve to speak so plainly to him, but it was his 
fault rather than his own, since he should not hâve 
undertaken such a disagreeable service. He was not 
the cause of his imprudence ; he was bringing ail this 
upon his own head. The emissary did not at first 
understand what was meant by this, either because he 
was not quick-witted, or that he was ignorant of the 
intercourse of the Prince de Conti with his wife. 
Accordingly, he entreated the Prince de Condé to 


consent to tell him in what way he might be an object 
of suspicion, since he had never had anything to do 
with Marcin and was, consequently, just as ready to 
do him justice as anyone else. " Will you swear to 
it," retorted the prince, who wanted to divert himself, 
"and not be afraid of being accused of falsehood?" 
"No, no, my lord," replied the poor cuckold, "I am 
ready to swear any oath you like, begging you to 
believe that I shall only speak the truth." The prince 
pretended not to be willing to accept his word, so 
as to oblige him to take the promised oath : then, 
softening of a sudden, as if he had only just begun to 
bedisabused of his suspicions, " I believe you," continued 
he, " since I see you taking an oath ; but, if you can 
clear yourself of this, I am very certain you cannot 
clear yourself of other things. Your wife is too good a 
friand of my brother's for you to warmly espouse his 
interests. You are, in conséquence, unable to bear 
witness against his enemies : you know this better 
than myself, since you are not only a lawyer, but, 
further, cause those who pass as masters in that pro- 
fession to come and plead before you." The poor 
husband nearly fell to the ground when he heard thèse 
reproaches. He knew nothing about his wife's goings 
on, or, at least, pretended not to, but, dissimulation 
being of no further use after this, he went off very 
sorrowfully to return to his own part of the country. 

I still remained with his wife during this time, and, 
as every minute we were becoming better acquainted, 
I thought I had the right to say to her, but merely as 
my own idea, that, were I in her place, I should try 
and profit by the présent moment ; that things might 
not always be so propitious for her as they were 

13- -2 


to-day. She vvas in the ^ood grâces of the Prince de 
Conti, and were she willing to employ the influence 
she had over his mind to lead him back to the obédience 
he owed his Majesty, I would take it upon myself to 
obtain a recompense for her proportionate to this 
service. She might by such means even procure some 
position in Paris. The Court would give her husband 
occupation, especially if he would buy the office of 
Maître des Requêtes. A mère nothing was sometimes 
needed to make one's fortune. A good example of this 
was M. le Tellier, who, from having caused a report to 
be drawn up, favourable to one of the children of the 
late M. de Bullion, whilst he was Procureur du Roi at 
the Châtelet, had afterwards been so well received that 
he had concluded that he could rely upon him to 
make his fortune. Selling his office, he had bought 
one similar to that which I advised her husband to 
purchase. He had done no harm, since he was now 
not only Secretary of State and one of the richest men 
in ail Paris, but, further, on the way to one day 
become chancellor. 

The lady listened to me with pleasure. She had 
heard say that Paris was the paradise of women ; the 
hope with which I inspired her, of being able to some 
day take up her abode there was then so agreeable, that 
she at once told me that, after having given herself to 
me as she had done, she abandoned herself entirely to 
my guidance. Nevertheless, she wanted me to be 
grateful for such great confidence. Accordingly, she 
immediately added that, if she thus easily gave up her 
native place and her relations, I must be assured that 
she did so only from love of myself. I could not 
always live at Bordeaux. The bonds which bound me 


to tlie Court by reason of my office would soon force 
me to return. True it was that I had declared that 
my leave was for four months, but already one of thèse 
had flown, and the others would pass just as quickly, 
even were the time a longer one than it was. We 
must therefore think of placing ourselves in a position 
to see one another continually. She was not as élever 
as I, and even a long way from it ; nevertheless, she 
did not fail to perceive that the expédient I had pro- 
posed would so greatly faciHtate our plan that, if she 
wanted to succeed, she must look for no other. At the 
same time, she begged me to consent to write to the 
Court, adding that, by reason of any goodwill and 
gratitude I might feel towards her, I would use ail my 
influence, and ail that of my friends, to conduct this 
affair to a satisfactory termination. 

I was enchanted at the warmth with which she 
received my proposition. Love, nevertheless, had no 
share in my satisfaction. Debauchery and policy had 
originated our intercourse rather than any attachment 
of the heart. Not that she was not pretty enough for 
that, and there would even hâve been many people in 
my place who would hâve considered themselves in 
luck's way. However, either because one is not made 
to love everybody, or because I did not love a mistress 
who divided her favours with another, I approached 
her no more than was sufficient to keep up the réputa- 
tion of being a dashing gallant, which I had acquired 
with her. The need I had of her to assist me with the 
prince also caused me to humour her. Sarrasin had 
found the matter difficult on account of the prince 
being afraid of his brother. Though he had been 
enchanted with the portrait of the Cardinal's nièce, 


which this secretary had shown him as if by chance 
(for he had not as yet spoken of my scheme of a 
marriage with her, and wished first to see what he 
would say about her portrait), the Prince de Conti was so 
afraid of the lady's rage, were he to give her up, that 
he could not make up his mind to do so. In spite of 
this, Sarrasin, who was a clever man, had made use of 
every reason which could sway him. He had pointed 
eut to him that his brother had a thousand times more 
confidence in Marcin than in himself, so that, in 
reahty, ail authority was in the hands of the former, 
whilst he held it but in appearance. Were he to speak 
the truth, he knew in his heart of hearts that the 
prince dared do nothing at ail without having first 
consulted him : that ail those really devoted to him 
observed this only with indignation and prayed to 
Heaven every day that they might see him escape from 
this slavery. He added that ail his brother's property, 
which was very considérable, had been confiscated, 
and there was no likelihood of its ever being returned 
to him, since the bonds he was every day contracting 
with the Spaniards were of such magnitude as to 
appear indissoluble. 

The portrait which Sarrasin had shown the Prince 
de Conti was a rather flattering one, as ladies' portraits 
nearly always are. Nevertheless, as it had not as yet 
produced ail the results we had looked for, either 
because one had failed to speak cleverly to the prince 
or that his fears still continued so great that he could 
not surmount them, I thought myself obliged to pro- 
duce another, which his Eminence had sent me. This 
was a full-length one and looked very well indeed. It 
was much more flattering than that which Sarrasin 


had shown, so that one might call anyone very unsus- 
ceptible who should resist the original from vvhich it 
was painted, always supposing it to be a good likeness. 
I gave it to my accomplice, who put it in her room, 
after having had a magnificent frame made for it. 
This portrait was like the other, which was not very 
strange, since both had been made from the same 
person. The original indeed on the whole resembled 
them, though in détail she was far from being as 
good-looking or from having the same features. 

The Prince de Conti, having gone to the lady's 
house, at once recognised the person whom it repre- 
sented. In spite of this, he was afraid that he was 
deceived, since it was rather odd to hang up a picture 
of this kind in a town like Bordeaux, in which the 
Cardinal was hated like death itself, and thus, to 
ornament one's room with a portrait of his nièce was 
a pièce of boldness which seemed out of reason. He 
therefore enquired of the lady, whose portrait it was, 
as if he did not know, and even had no idea whatever. 
The lady replied, that it was the picture of the most 
beautiful, the most virtuous, and the most accom- 
plished person in France. This was praise in a few 
words, but what was the best thing about it was, that 
it was true. Of the seven nièces of his Eminence, she 
was not only the most perfect, but also appeared to 
hâve epitomised in her own person the virtues which 
ail the others should hâve possessed. The lady, 
having biassed the mind of the prince by such admir- 
able and well-timed praises, almost immediately added 
that the original of the picture was ready to be married, 
and would just suit him. At the same time she told 
him her name, whilst declaring that, if he wished to be 


happy and also to succeed to the property and offices 
of his brother, he should seek for no other wife than 
her. His fear of his brother faded away before her 
praises of the Cardinal's nièce and his inspection of 
the portrait. He fell in love as violently as is possible 
under such circumstances. He had never seen the 
lady, who had nearly always lived in a convent out- 
side France, when he had been at Court. Accordingly, 
really believing that she was as beautiful as her por- 
trait declared, he had no sooner returned home than 
he sent for Sarrasin to his closet. He there asked 
him the donor of the picture he had shown him, en- 
quiring if it was not the Cardinal, and bade him speak 
the truth. This prince was too clever not to perceive 
that ail this had been arranged, and that the girl was 
being thrown at his head. Sarrasin owned this with- 
out in any way mentioning me. Such a thing was not 
as necessary as to let his master know what the 
Cardinal's plan was. 

The Prince de Conti, to whom he once more pointed 
out afresh the advantages he would gain by returning 
to his duty, having thought the matter over, at once 
commanded him to go on with this business and report 
the progress he should make. Meanwhile, wishing to 
discover from him his mistress's share in this affair — 
she who had a portrait of the lady, and had spoken 
quite frankly of her, — Sarrasin told him that it had been 
necessary to tell her about it, since it was quite évident 
that he would not agrée, were he not urged on by some 
power stronger than his own. It had been believed 
that she would hâve more power over him than anyone 
else, and that otherwise, she should hâve known 
nothing about it. The prince gave orders, as this was 


the case, that she should be told nothing more. 
Sarrasin let me know this, and I was not too displeased, 
because I felt sure that a secret could be in no worse 
hands than those of a woman. Besides, I concluded 
that the prince was the more firmly determined in his 
intention, since he was importing mystery into this 
intrigue. Indeed, when one cares about anything, it is 
not agreeable for it to be known everywhere, whereas, 
when one is indiffèrent, such a thing is of no consé- 
quence whatever. 

Be this as it may, this prince, having gone the next 
day to see the lady, very nearly surprised us together. 
Her lady's maid, whom she trusted, and whom she had 
ordered to admit no one without first informing her, 
having amused herself by making love, instead of 
attending to her orders, we suddenly heard the foot- 
steps of several people in the ante-chamber. It was 
the prince and his suite, and, expecting such to be the 
case, I quickly jumped into a closet near her bed. I 
had not the time to shut the door upon myself, and, 
not being able to go back to it after his entrance, my 
uneasiness as well as the lady's became great. She 
indeed was completely upset, and could not recover 
herself. The prince, who was not a handsome man, 
and who consequently mistrusted his own appearance, 
asked her what it was which was so extraordinary as 
to make her appear in the state in which he now saw 
her ? This enquiry completed her embarrassment, so 
much so that, his suspicions increasing more and 
more, he looked to right and left, and perceived the 
door of the closet which was ajar. This made him 
curions to come and inspect it. He was extremel}' 
surprised to see me there, although he should hâve 


expected such a thing, after the confusion he had 
noticed the lady to be in. In a tone which would 
hâve caused me to tremble, had I been wont to give 
way to terror, he demanded of me what I was doing in 
such a place ? I had had time to think matters over, 
in case he should approach my hiding-place, so, being 
quite ready with an answer for him, I declared that his 
secretary would go bail for my behaviour, for he knew 
why I had corne into the town, and he himself should 
know it also, at least from what had been repeated to 
me. This should be enough to let him know what I 
was now doing hère, and that this was ail my business 
with the mistress of the house. 

The lady, who had been near fainting, when she had 
seen the prince enter the closet, recovered herself a 
little at my words. I had thus given her an opening 
to excuse herself, which she had before not thought of. 
The Prince de Conti clearly perceived what ail this 
was worth. His orders to Sarrasin not to admit the 
lady any more into his secret did not coincide with my 
excuses. Nevertheless, as he had already determined 
to marry the person proposed to him, he did not désire 
to make ail the fuss which at another time he might 
doubtless hâve done. In spite of this, he told me 
very drily that I must leave the town within twenty- 
four hours, otherwise, once that period of time should 
hâve elapsed, it would prove no safe place for me. 
Having thus manifested his anger in a few words, I do 
not accurately know what he said to the lady. He 
made me leave the house at once, and I did not think 
it prudent to return and see what had happened to 
her. I let Sarrasin, who was in despair, know of my 
disguise, and he sent me a passport directly he had 


returned home. As he always had blank ones by him, 
he had no need to speak to his master of the matter to 
obtain one for me. I did not go to bid good-bye to 
Las Florides or anyone. My valise had remained at 
one of the friends of the secretary of the Duc de 
Candale since the day of my arrivai. I sent to fetch 
it, and having at once set out, for fear of some fly 
passing in front of the prince's nose and making him 
change his mind, I arrived at the camp of M. de 
Candale, whom I found already informed of what had 
happened to me. 

I do not know how and from whom he had been 
able to hear of it. It appeared to me that both the 
Prince de Conti and the lady were, one as much as the 
other, concerned in not boasting of what had occurred. 
We three alone had taken part in this scène, and it 
seemed to me that, if there was one of us who might 
tell the story, it should be myself rather than anyone 
else. Knowing very well that it was not myself, it 
must, consequently, hâve originated from one of the 
two. I admitted the truth to the duc, but kept back 
anything which might suUy the honour of the lady. 
The Duc de Candale laughed a little at me for playing 
such a discreet part, telling me that I had cause to 
reckon this as a pièce of good luck, because, being 
accustomed, as a Musketeer, to only hâve mistresses 
who were in the habit of seeing twenty-four men a day, 
I was apparently to-day contenting myself with one 
who had seen but twenty in her whole life ! He would 
cite them ail to me, if I liked, by their names and 
surnames, and, were he to be discovered lying, it 
would be at most about one or two of them. He 
knew for a certain fact that the Prince de Conti v/as 


the seventeenth of her favoured lovers, from which 
circumstance one could draw one's own conclusions 
as to the worth and appetite of the lady. 

The duc Hked joking so much and was besides so 
fond of scandai, that his words made little impression 
on my mind. Nevertheless, being afraid lest the 
Cardinal should be set against me, and that I might 
receive only ingratitude instead of the reward which 
I had a right to expect for my services, I begged him 
to consent to write to him on my behalf. He pro- 
fessed himself quite vvilling to do this, but instead of 
writing to him in strong terms, the letter he gave me 
ruined my interests more than it assisted them. He 
sent Word to his Eminence, wishing to amuse him, 
that the Prince de Conti was right to want to marry, 
since he was not lucky in the matter of mistresses. 
His last one was the seventh who had proved false. 
Luckily, a wife was being selected for him whose virtue 
was proof against coquetry, and in this lay his safety, 
because, parsonally, he was so very unfortunate that 
he would be cuckolded by his wife as he had been by 
his mistresses, were it not for the précautions which 
were being taken. 


N my arrivai in Paris, M. le Cardinal, who 
was eager to avoid the importunities for 
a captaincy in the Guards, which he 
foresaw I should pester him with, told me 
that he had not reckoned on sending me 
Bordeaux to make love, but rather to look 
after the affairs of his Majesty. I clearly per- 
ceived the reason of thèse reproaches : so, as every- 
thing I had done had been but with a view to serving 
him, I repHed, without being surprised, that I was 
ignorant as to who had discredited me to his 
Eminence, but that, had he heard the truth, he 
should hâve been told at the same time that my 
love affairs had been described to him, that there 
was just as much crédit in playing the lover in the 
way I had done, as in the most difficult matter in 
the world. An envoy, it appeared to me, should 
transform himself into ail sorts of things to bring 
his negotiations to a successful termination. Indeed, 
I had done nothing without first consulting with 
Sarrasin, whom his Eminence knew to be a clever 
man, and, as he had been of opinion that I ought to 
act as I had done, it did not seem to me that I ought 
to be blamed. 


My firmness silenced him. One had to contradict 
him to carry one's point. He reproached me for 
nothing more, but I was no better off for ail that. 
Having tried to speak to him of the reward for which 
he had so long made me hope, he replied that, now he 
had returned to France, he did not want to get himself 
expelled ail over again. He was well aware that he 
had promised me a company in the Guards, but, as it 
could not be bestowed without causing me to pass over 
the bodies of twenty lieutenants senior to myself, far 
from asking him for it, as I was doing, I ought not 
even to dream of it, if I had the slightest friendship for 
him. To speak like this was to déclare himself terribly 
opposed to me, so, concluding that I had nothing more 
to hope for at Court, I resolved to sell my commission 
and retire to my own home. I told M. de Navailles 
this, that he might speak to the Cardinal about it, and 
that the latter might allow me to look for a purchaser. 
M. de Navailles tried to alter my résolve, telling me 
that it was, at ail events, better for me to be what 
I was than to be reduced to go and plant cabbages ! 
It appeared as if I did not know how bored a man 
who had retired became, since that state of life did not 
frighten me ! Once one had had anything to do with 
the Court, one could do nothing else. Not a day 
passed that one did not long for death, and he did 
not advise me to personally try such an experiment. 

Ail thèse reasons, however good they might seem to 
him and, indeed, might really be, did not affect me. I 
persisted in my résolve the more firmly, because the 
assistance I had for some years received from gambling 
now failed me entirely. From the first day I had 
begun to lose I had always continucd to sustain fresh 


losses. For this reason I occasionally found mysclf so 
bereft of everything, that I thought there was no one in 
the world more unfortunate than myself. So much so 
was this the case that, if I hâve mentioned that I had 
at Bordeaux a purse of two hundred pistoles, it must 
be understood that I had procured it from one of my 
friends. Seeing me ordered to leave, apparently on 
account of something serions, he had brought them to 
me without my having asked for them. I had made 
no bones about taking them, because I had imagined 
that the worst thing which could happen to me would 
be that I should be reimbursed for what I had spent. 
But the Cardinal, after having tried to pick a quarrel 
with me as I hâve just described, thinking he had a 
right to give me nothing at ail, had ordered Servient to 
let me hâve a bill for but two hundred crowns, and even 
to tell me on his behalf, when I should corne for it, 
that I did not deserve that, and so, if he was giving it 
me, it was only because I was not rich and stood in 
need of someone's assistance. I do not know why he 
did not further add in definite terms that he only acted 
as he was doing by way of charity, since that was the 
sole thing lacking to complète his kindness : indeed, I 
am ignorant whether he did not say so, since such 
words were quite of the same kind as those which he 
caused to be conveyed to me. 

This it was which made me so out of temper and 
caused me to want to retire from everything. Per- 
ceiving that ail he could say to make me stay was of 
no use, Navailles eventually promised to speak to his 
Eminence. He did so in very kindly terms as regards 
myself, and even in a way which was well calculated to 
make him change his mind. For, after having told 


him that I was a man without reproach, who had 
always served him faithfully and with zeal, he added 
that my retirement would make a good many people 
think over things, and it might be thought that there 
was no longer any profit or honour to be got by serving 
him. For this reason, if only for his own sake, he 
ought not to let me départ without some recompense. 
He further told him many weighty reasons for this, so 
much so that, having quite upset him, his Eminence 
repHed that my demands must then be satisfied, since 
there was no other way of keeping me. I must, how- 
ever, assist myself, if I wanted that post (a captaincy 
in the Guards), since it was well worth my doing so. 
Navailles perfectly understood what he meant by this. 

The help his Eminence asked for was that I should 
give him some money. 

Upon this, so as to make him reaHse in good time 
that he must not expect any, Navailles, who still 
wished to be my friend, rejoined that I did not possess 
one sou, and that, had I to return to Bearn, he knew 
from a good source that I should hâve to borrow the 
wherewithal to get back with. Eventually, after a 
good deal more talking, one side always making a 
thrust at me and the other parrying it, the Cardinal 
and Navailles separated without it being certain whether 
I should be given what I asked for or allowed to 
départ. For, although the Minister had declared that 
I was to be satisfied, since otherwise I could no longer 
be relied upon, as he had immediately added that I 
must help myself, it was a question of knowing whether 
he would abandon this last stipulation. He was as 
grasping as a Jew whenever his interests were con- 
cerned, so much so that those who knew this were 


accustomed to déclare that he would hâve been much 
more fit to keep a shop than to be a minister of State. 

I was awaiting the answer of Navailles with ail the 
impatience imaginable, when I was very surprised to 
hear that he did not know what to say to me. At the 
same time he described what had occurred, and, still 
continuing to show himself my friend, advised me, were 
the Cardinal to try and sound me on the subject, to 
make myself out even poorer than he himself had done. 
Indeed, it was a shameful thing that he should try and 
extract money for a thing which cost him nothing, but 
it was ail very well to say so, he went on in just the 
same way. His Eminence had, on his entry into the 
ministry, introduced this custom of giving nothing 
without money, and firmly intended to keep it up to 
the end. I thanked Navailles for his good advice and 
replied that, even had he not given it me, I should 
not hâve failed to put it into practice myself. I was 
forced to do so by necessity, and, as necessity knew no 
law, the Cardinal would hâve great trouble before 
making me produce any money. He was ail powerful 
in a good many things, but in this I defied him to 
make himself obeyed. Navailles made reply that he 
was well pleased to see me in this state of mind, and 
that I should take care to keep myself in it. 

For some days M. le Cardinal said nothing to me, 
although I took care to présent myself before him 
evening and morning. I did not know what this 
meant, deeming that it was he who should speak first : 
however, seeing him do nothing of the sort, and thinking 
that I should very probably hâve to wait some time 
before he did so, I would not delay any longer without 
having a personal explanation with him. I again 
VOL. II 14 


snatched my opportunity, as I had done on many 
occasions, to address him just as he was coming from 
the gaming-table and had been winning. I knew from 
expérience that he was never in such good humour as 
at such a moment — indeed, one might hâve said that 
he had seen the heavens open, so serene was his 
countenance and so delighted his look. He clearly 
perceived that I wanted to speak to him, and, as he 
was aware that it was to ask him for something, and 
not to give him anything, he tried to avoid me. He 
was successful, and, having thus escaped once, believed 
that he had got rid of me for good and ail, when, one 
day that he least expected to do so, he found me at the 
house of Madame de Venelle. 

This lady was the companion of his nièces, and I 
was paying her a visit on the pretext of bringing some 
truffles which had been sent me from Dauphiné. She 
was extremely fond of them, and I had observed that 
no présent was more welcome to her. The nièces 
of his Eminence were much of her way of thinking, 
too. They always had their pockets quite fuU of 
them, and, though this lady was aware that they were 
already suffîciently inclined towards gallantry not to 
need this spur^ to urge them on to it, she did not dare 
to take the truffles away, because they would hâve 
been in a mood to retort that it was bad taste on her 
part to blâme in others that which she herself ap- 
proved of. 

The minister was surprised to find me there, without 
my having been sent for, and on his enquiring what I 

I Truffles had, and hâve still, in France the réputation of 
exciting tlie passions. It is improbable, however, that they 
are really an incentive to gallantry. 


was doing in a rude way (and behaving as if he was 
inclined to believe that I had only corne there for the 
purpose of leading his nièces astray), I answered that, 
having intended to make a small présent to Madame 
de Venelle, I had corne with it myself, from fear lest 
any bearer I might send should by chance be tempted 
to pilfer. At this word " présent " he softened, so 
accustomed was he to be pleased when one was made 
him ! Accordingly, at once adopting another tone to 
that in which he had spoken to me, he rejoined that 
he had for a long time known me as a cautions man, 
and one not easily caught. I was none too wrong to 
be suspicions of my neighbour, for the world was at 
présent so corrupt (and especially in France) that there 
were a hundred rogues to one honest man. I did not 
dare tell him what I thought about the reproach he was 
making against our nation, to wit, that, if to-day it was 
so corrupt, it was only since the bad example he had 
set from the first day he had entered the ministry. At 
least, this is what most honest folks declared. 

Be this as it may, not daring, as I hâve just said, to 
show my resentment and having, on the contrary, kept 
a respectful silence, as if agreeing with what he said, 
the Cardinal enquired of me what the présent I had 
mentioned might be ? Apparently, he wanted his 
share, if he could hâve a finger in it. If I was a 
cautions man, as he had declared, he for his part was 
a good manager. He let nothing escape through any 
fault of his own, and had this in common with some 
other people, that he never missed turning everything 
to account. Nevertheless, when he learned that the 
présent was only truffles, he became as grave as if he 
was eighty years old. He then at once asked me if 

14 — 2 


this was not making fun of people, bringing such things 
into a place where there were young girls. The fire 
was already nearly alight, without trying to set it 
ablaze. I ought to be more discreet, and he would 
hâve never hâve beheved this of me. He immediately 
asked to see thèse truffles, and, either from fear of 
what he had spoken of, or because he was eager to get 
hold of them, ordered a gentleman of his who was in 
attendance to call one of his men to take them back to 
his house. Madame de Venelle, who did not like 
seeing them disappear under her nose, after having 
been their possessor, then told him that, if it was 
dangerous for young girls to eat truffles, there was no 
danger in a woman of her âge partaking of them. His 
Eminence retorted that, if there was no danger, as she 
declared, there was also no necessity ; besides, she was 
too good-natured to refuse them to his nièces, were 
they to chance to ask for some. The minister having 
thus taken sole possession of them, without letting her 
hâve the least share, I was afraid of having selected a 
bad time to speak to him, though I had carefully 
chosen my words as I hâve just said. 

Nevertheless, this did not stop me from persisting in 
my résolve, which was to discover, once for ail, whether 
I was to return home or stay with the Cardinal. Ac- 
cordingly, my mouth was open to hâve an explanation, 
but, being beforehand with me, he said, in a consider- 
ably softer voice, that I was then about to leave him, 
without remembering that he had always reckoned me 
amongst his most faithful servants ! Navailles, who had 
spoken to him on my behalf, knew very well what he 
had always said about this. There was a kind of in- 
gratitude in this conduct, especially in my pressing 


him, as I was doing, with my sword at his throat, 
to give me a company in the Guards. I should at 
least hâve some patience, and choose a time which 
would not make my comrades raise a regular outcry 
against him. I, better than anyone else, knew how 
impatiently they bore cadets being made to pass over 
their heads. For this reason, some pretext was 
requisite for such a thing, and it was this for which 
he was searching so as to content me. With such an 
end in view, he had caused enquiry to be made as to 
my assisting myself, for, could I do so, he might 
point out to my comrades, when they should corne to 
complain of the favour bestowed on me to their own 
préjudice, that it was not so much a favour as a civiHty 
which he was doing me. They would hâve no answer 
to this, since, indeed, it would hâve cost me something 
to obtain it. On this account, he would once again 
advise me to see if I could not do something, either 
through my endeavours or through friends. His only 
wish was to do me good, but, to be brief, it was not 
right that he should ruin himself to oblige me. I 
should place myself in his position, and in that of 
other people, and I would soon admit, if I wanted to 
be at ail truthful, that matters could not be arranged 
in the way I desired without thoroughly compromis- 
ing him. 

Thus, so as to deal me another blow, did he prétend 
to only désire my prosperity ! Another person, who 
might hâve known him less well than I, would doubt- 
less hâve fallen into the snare and moved heaven and 
earth, rather than not agrée with his idea. But, as 
1 was up to his tricks, I continued to fall back upon 
my poverty, which did not allow me to do everything 


which I wanted. The Cardinal was annoyed at not 
being able to get me to agrée with him, and either 
because he was anxious to get rid of me without 
obtaining the réputation with which Navailles had 
threatened him, or that he really was afraid of making 
enemies by favouring me more than my comrades, he 
told me that, as I could not raise a sou, I must do 
something which would make my comrades hold their 
longues, when they should see me pass in front of 
them. The King intended very shortly to take back 
the fortresses which M. le Prince had captured when 
passing over to the enemy. I must distinguish my- 
self beyond others, and I would soon obtain the 
fulfilment of my desires. 

This speech did not please me, — not that I valued my 
skin, as one might perhaps think. I had always done 
my duty everywhere, at least I flattered myself that no 
one had any other opinion about me. But, deeming 
ail this but a rebuff, I found myself very embarrassed 
as to whether I ought to speak or remain silent. For 
if, on the one hand, I did not like to be played with 
further, on the other, I was afraid that, were I to 
persist in asking for leave to départ, I should be 
accused of having degenerated from that which up 
to that time I had always appeared to be. So, after 
having well thought over the matter, I resolved not 
only to remain, but besides, to do everything in the 
campaign which might put his Eminence in the wrong. 
In spite of this I was afraid that, though I might do 
my best, I should never succeed. There did not seem 
to me much probability of our doing anything con- 
sidérable in that year. 

The rébellion was still going on in Bordeaux, and, 


since I had left, the Comte de Marcin, who had per- 
ceived that the Prince de Conti was quite ready to 
play his brother false, had been watching him so 
closely, that it was impossible for him to accomplish 
ail he was anxious to do. Meanwhile the people of 
Bordeaux had been for some time suffering from the 
miseries which civil war usually brings in its train. 
Commerce was at a standstill, and the town was so 
closely invested that nothing could enter the walls. 
The sufferings of the populace caused them to cry out 
for either peace or bread. The Ormistes, however, 
who were afraid of receiving the punishment they 
deserved, adopted a différent tone. Marcin, who had 
judgment and expérience, sent word to. the Prince 
de Condé that, unless he should find means of quickly 
succouring the town, everything would be lost for him 
in that part of the country. The Ormistes, indeed, 
still continued in a state of rébellion, but, as they were 
hated by everyone, he did not dare to appear on very 
good terms with them from fear of incurring the hatred 
of the public. Everything depended upon the help he 
was asking for and its speedy arrivai. 

M. le Prince, who could no longer amuse himself 
with the ladies of Paris, who had made him let a good 
many favourable opportunities slip, did not go to sleep 
on this occasion. He sent a confidential man to 
England to make représentations to Cromwell (who 
was still reigning there since the sad death of the late 
King), to point out that his interests lay in taking the 
city of Bordeaux under his protection. Cromwell, 
who had other matters to attend to, would not en- 
cumber himself with this as he had formerly done. He 
had just declared war with the Dutch, because he had 


observed that such a course was agreeable to his 
nation, which was secretly jealous of that Republic, 
and did not like to see it in the flourishing condition 
which it was then in. England would willingly hâve 
given up everything to abate its power and force it to 
bend to its sway. For it is a characteristic of the English 
to think no one their equal : so much so is this the 
case that, had they as much ambition as they hâve 
vanity, they would either soon render ail nations sub- 
servient to their own, or meet with the fate of Phaëton, 
who met with destruction, as the fable tells us, for 
having presumed too much on his own powers. Be 
this as it may, M. le Prince, having but wasted his 
time in this quarter, had recourse to the Spaniards to 
make up for Cromwell's unwillingness to help him. 
Marcin had already sent as far as Madrid to obtain 
the same assistance as the prince was now asking of 
the archduke. However, ail thèse efforts came to 
nothing ; for, although a fleet was sent to succour 
Bordeaux, it was eventually compelled to retire, after 
having several times tried in vain to assist the besieged. 
M. le Prince fared no better in what he did in 
France. Nevertheless, he had hoped to accomplish 
marvels, on account of people still continuing to be 
discontented with the Cardinal. However, M. de 
Turenne, whom the Court had sent against him, 
having limited ail thèse great plans at the taking of 
Roye, which he even had to at once abandon, we 
foUowed him to the Somme, where it was feared he 
had an understanding with some governors of that 
district. Most of them indeed did not hâve many 
scruples about betraying their master, so much so 
that, had the Prince de Condé had any money to 


bestow, many of them would hâve made no great 
difficulties about siding with him. But he was so 
poverty-stricken that, very far from being able to 
give others anything, he had not even enough for 
himself. The archduke gave him as Httle money as 
possible for some reason of his own. 

M. le Prince did what he could to entice tha 
Vicomte de Turenne to engage in battle. He calcu- 
lated that, were he to be successful, he could re-enter 
France. The Cardinal had brought the King into our 
army and was wont to show him to the soldiers, to 
animate them against a rebel who was the more guilty 
because he was in duty bound to do just the opposite 
of what he was doing. M. de Turenne, who was 
very clever, did not think the time an opportune one 
to risk a battle ; he told his Eminence so, and added 
that it was useless to promenade the King along the 
ranks as was being done. This was a good thing 
only when one wanted to animate people to accom- 
plish, so to speak, the impossible. It would accord- 
ingly be much better for his Mijesty to return to 
Paris than to stay any longer where he was, for his 
présence would be much more likely to produce a bad 
effect than a good one. 

The Vicomte de Turenne was none too wrong to 
speak like this. The ardour which his Eminence had 
inspired the troops with by his tactics was so great, 
that they had already engaged in two or three 
skirmishes, which had seemed Hkely to be followed 
by a gênerai engagement. The Cardinal had been 
much alarmed at this, and, if the Vicomte de Turenne 
had been less clever and careful than he was, I do 
not know what would hâve happened. I seized this 


opportunity to distinguish myself, as his Eminence 
had recommended me to do, but, either because he 
was only trying to pick a quarrel vvith me, or that his 
fright of things resulting in a battle was still power- 
fully affecting him, instead of being pleased with me, I 
found myself terribly abused. He reproached me with 
not being at ail the man he had thought me, and 
declared that, had there been but two dozen men like 
myself, we should hâve been followed by the whole 
of the army. In reply I urged that, provided every- 
one had done their duty like myself, there would hâve 
been no great danger in such a thing taking place : far 
from it, we should soon hâve driven the enemy over 
the Somme, for they were still this side of it, the 
Prince de Condé making as if to attack now one 
fortress and now another. 

His Eminence took care not to agrée with me, and, 
having continued to abuse me more and more, I was 
80 pained that I resolved this time to go away without 
even looking behind me. I told this to my most 
intimate friends, and, not thinking he would be so 
unjust as to refuse to let me sell my post, I sought 
for a purchaser without speaking to him further on the 
subject. Everyone agreed with me, so reasonable did 
my resentment appear. His Eminence, meanwhile, 
left the army, and hardly had he gone from our camp 
than we were informed that the Bordeaux arrangement 
had been completed. The Prince de Conti did ail he 
could to conceal from his brother's friends that he had 
any hand in it. Finally, however, he raised the mask, 
for further dissimulation would hâve availed him 
nothing. His marriage was one of the clauses of the 
treaty, and even the one which pleased him most, and 


which was, as it were, its seal. He thought he could 
never hâve a wife soon enough, and, though he had 
already had too much to do with ladies — at least, 
whispered rumours said so, he had, ail the same, a 
strange désire to try this one. To speak the truth, 
she was well worth it, and, though not quite as 
beautiful as her portrait, she was yet sufficiently so 
to thoroughly rouse his desires. He retired to Cadillac, 
where we were told he was undergoing treatment, to 
prépare for the amorous encounter which he was soon 
to wage with her. This made me tremble. I knew 
that there was one woman who had been common 
to both of us, and that, whether it was she who had 
made him the présent, the effects of which he was now 
experiencing, or that it was he who was the giver, I 
ran a great risk of one day repeating the proverb: 
** For one pleasure a thousand pains." 

Nothing reassured me in my alarm, except that I 
still continued to enjoy perfect health. Besides, the 
more I called to mind the complexion and face of the 
lady in question, the more it seemed to me that 
a great many rumours were fabricated, and that, 
though the whole of our army was filled with nothing 
but reports of this prince's malady, there was a great 
likelihood that ail this was but slander. 

I found a purchaser for my post as I had desired. 
An ensign of our régiment, who was one of my friends, 
knowing I wanted to get rid of it, informed a captain 
of the régiment of Rambures, who had a wish to serve 
in our corps. He was a long way away from us, and 
was serving in Italy. Nevertheless, having discussed 
the matter by letter exactly as we might hâve done if 
we had been in one another's présence, we agreed that 


he should betake himself to Paris directly the campaign 
should hâve ended. I was to présent him to M. le 
Cardinal, and, if he had any friends about him, he was 
to make them speak in his favour, so that he might 
approve of what he had done. He felt sure of obtaining 
what he wanted, because he had served a long time, 
and, besides, a captain in a régiment like his was 
something in those days. 

Both armies continued to pursue the campaign in 
their différent ways, M. le Prince being eventually 
obliged to retreat across the Somme. Two régiments 
of reinforcements, which came from the army of the 
Duc de Candale, arrived at our camp and described 
the surrender of Bordeaux, and how Orteste had been 
captured while trying to escape. He had expiated his 
crimes by the most cruel death which could be devised 
for the most guilty of men. I asked for news of Las 
Florides, being very much afraid that he had shared 
the same fate. Both men were equally guilty, the only 
différence being that one had been chief of the rebels, 
and the other had not. However, he had, they said, 
not been quite as unfortunate as his associate. Search 
had been also made for him to kill him, and he had 
very nearly been caught in a house to which he had 
retired, but, having had présence of mind enough to 
hide himself under the skirts of a dropsical woman, he 
had escaped notice, because the enormous appearance 
which the woman presented had been merely attributed 
to her disease. He had then gained a ship which had 
carried him to England for two hundred pistoles, and 
was believed to be there now. 

He was, as I hâve just said, quite as guilty as the 
other man. He had committed a thousand robberies 


and a thousand crimes just as Orteste might hâve done; 
but, however criminal he might be, as it is impossible, 
when once one knows anyone, to wish him to end in 
such a way, unless ail sentiments of humanity are 
totally discarded, I was in no wise vexed that he had 
thus found means to escape the punishment he deserved. 

Meanwhile, M. le Cardinal made us cross into 
Champagne, and increased the army with troops under 
the Maréchal du Plessis and most of those who were 
returning from Bordeaux. We besieged Mouson, but 
M. le Prince as a set-off captured Rocroi. Eventually, 
Mouson was taken by our forces, and M. le Prince 
contented himself with giving the command at Rocroi 
to the Seigneur de Montai who had embraced his cause, 
and who was net one of his worst officers, both as to 
courage and discipline. This ended our campaign, 
and, as I now served only so to speak with regret, 
perceiving clearly that we were under a ministry which 
set more store on money than worth, I at once took 
post, more resolved than ever to retire. 

The captain of the régiment of Ram bures, with 
whom I had treated, had already arrived in Paris more 
than three weeks ago. He had his money quite ready 
to give me, and had sent me word to that effect on his 
arrivai. We agreed together to see M. le Cardinal the 
Thursday following. This was still three days off, and 
we thought it best not to hurry more than this, so that 
the captain might hâve time to set his friends to work. 
One of them had a good deal of influence with the 
Cardinal : this was the Maréchal de Clérembaut,^ a 
clever man, and who was as clever as he was skilful in 
his profession. Be this as it may, my captain having 
I Philippe de Clérembaut, Comte de Palluau (1606 — 1665). 


begged him to be good enough to say a word to his 
Eminence in his favour, the maréchal repHed that he 
was sorry that he did not ask for anything more 
important than that, so as to show him how delighted 
he would be to hâve an opportunity of doing him a 
service, He went about it with much straightfor- 
wardness and fervour, unHke most courtiers, who 
promise things every hour and every minute, without 
having any intention of keeping their promise at one 
time more than another. He spoke of it that very day 
to the minister, telHng him that, however good a 
subject the individual might be whose place he was 
taking, the King would certainly not lose by the 
exchange. For this he would go bail, and he was 
ready to answer for it himself, should he find that he 
had not told the truth. M. le Cardinal received his 
pétition not only with a gracions air, but with so many 
marks of favour, that the maréchal was quite dehghted. 
The minister's answer was exactly similar to the one 
the maréchal had given the captain, to wit, that he 
was sorry that no greater opportunity of serving him 
presented itself, so that he might give a proof of the 
esteem he held him in. He had but to hand his notes 
to M. le Tellier, and présent to him on his behalf the 
person he was recommending. He would at once 
settle the matter, and, as he knew his high opinion of 
him, he was certain it would be done with much 
pleasure on his part. 

The maréchal withdrew, feeling the happiest man in 
the world on account of thèse fine words, and, having 
announced to the captain that M. le Cardinal had 
granted his request, arranged a time to take him to 
M. le Tellier. The captain let me know this, thinking 


to please me greatly by the news. He had observed 
me very keen to resign, and did not believe I had 
changed my mind since. I did not think so myself, 
so much reason had I, did it seem to me, to complain 
of the way I had been treated, but, eventually hearing 
the thing was done, and that M. le Cardinal had made 
not the least pretence of regretting me, I felt quite 
differently at hearing this news than I should hâve 
imagined. Nevertheless, I tried to hide my confusion 
before the ofQcer. I did not want him to be able some 
day to repeat this weakness of mine to his Eminence, 
and give him further this new subject for triumph, 
after having already had so much reason for coniplain- 
ing of his behaviour. Accordingly, as I still pretended 
to be of the same mind, the captain pressed me to 
receive my money. He had deposited it with Le Cat 
the Notary, and, enquiring whether I should like him to 
bring it in an hour or two, he added, at the same time, 
that he did not think he would hâve to wait for his 
commission, because, provided I gave him my résigna- 
tion, he reckoned that the affair could not fail to reach 
a successful issue. I replied that he might hâve his 
money brought me when he liked, and that, as to my 
résignation, it was of no conséquence. I was going to 
pass the afternoon at a lawyer's, and would bring it 
back with me, so, if he would return and see me about 
seven in the evening, or the next morning, it would be 
a settled thing and one requiring no further thought. 
He had but to choose his time, and he would find me 
at home at the hour I should appoint. 

Directly he had left my house, I duly went to a 
lawyer whom I knew, to arrange what I had told him. 
I deemed that, as I had to swallow this cup, I had 


better do so with a good grâce than reluctantly. I 
was too haughty and too proud to do otherwise : 
besides which, I should hâve been acting in an un- 
gentlemanly way, were I now to draw back, since it 
was myself who had petitioned for my retirement. My 
captain did not fail to return in the evening, though 
he had not yet been to the house of M. le TelHer. 
Some work had prevented the maréchal from going 
with him. He had put the matter off till the next 
morning, and they were to go together. He brought 
with him twelve thousand crowns, which was the 
price we had both agreed on, and, having shut them 
up in a coffer which was in a cabinet which stood not 
far from my bed, I placed my résignation in his hands. 
The next day, I took a thousand crowns from this 
coffer to go and pay my debts, so that, directly it was 
done, I might leave Paris and take the rest with me 
to Bearn. This was settled in the course of the 
morning, and, having gone in the afternoon to bid fare- 
well to my friends, I did not forget M. de Navailles. 
He was quite astounded at the speech I made, teUing me 
with an air of friendship that what I had done was a pièce 
of gross stupidity, and that, had I corne to him for 
advice again, he would (had he any influence over me) 
hâve dissuaded me! I replied, that the thing was 
settled, and one must think no more about it ; besides, 
M. le Cardinal did not value me enough to cause me 
any regrets at leaving him. This indeed was not 
what he had sometimes promised, but one ought not 
to rely on the promises of great people any more than 
on a winter's sun. Both were apt to be soon obscured 
by clouds, and of that I was now having a sad proof, 
without having to draw upon the évidence of others. 


Having parted thus, he thinking never to set 
eyes on me again, and I for my part being of the 
same opinion, I went to complète my visits. I spent 
ail the remainder of the afternoon doing this, and, one 
of my friends having begged me to sup with him, I 
only returned home about eleven at night. The land- 
lord with whom I lodged told me on my arrivai that 
M. de Navailles had twice sent for me, and that, his 
lackey having found me on neither occasion, he him- 
self had just been to tell me to wait for him the next 
morning. He had something of conséquence to tell 
me, and he had given him strict injunctions to 
let me know. I was not, I confess, unmoved by 
this news ; I was going away, but regretfuUy, so, 
flattering myself that the important news he had 
to tell me was, that I was to stay, I lingered agreeably 
on such an idea. I imagined that M. le Cardinal 
was about to do something for me, and that he 
must hâve informed me of it. I did not sleep a 
wink the whole night, so impatient was I to learn 
whether I was deceived or not. The night, neverthe- 
less, seemed very long to me, for there is nothing more 
wearisome than not to sleep when one bas gone to 
bed. Nevertheless, it having passed just as any other 
might hâve done, before it was yet six o'clock M. de 
Navailles was announced. I was stretched out in my 
bed, and, having got into an arm-chair near my couch, 
he told me that M. le Cardinal did not want me to 
départ. He had never been so surprised as when he 
had learnt of my selling my post, for he had not 
thought that it was mine that the Maréchal de 
Clérembaut had asked to dispose of. For this reason, 
he had at once sent to M. le Tellier to forbid him to 
VOL. II iq 


deliver the documents. M. de Navailles added that ail 
would be well for me, unless he was much deceived, 
and that was why I must appear at the morning 
audience of his Eminence, to thank him for the 
interest which he seemed to take in my affairs. He 
had called upon me the previous evening, so as to 
let me know this good news, and had again returned 
this morning for the same purpose ; for, although no 
one was up at the présent hour, it had been his 
opinion that, had he even been more matutinal than 
he was, I should hâve found no fault, because one 
could never be too early to announce such news as 

I thanked him to the best of my abilities for the 
warmth with which he still continued to manifest his 
friendship. He then went to his work, and scarcely 
had he left when my captain entered with a sorrowful 
face, and one on which it was easy to read his grief. 
He told me he was bringing back my résignation, 
because M. le Tellier had sent to tell the Maréchal 
de Clérembaut that M. le Cardinal had forbidden him 
to issue the necessary documents. He had been 
astounded to the last degree, because this was not 
only inconsistent with his word which he had given 
to the maréchal, when he had spoken to him on his 
behalf, but also contrary to the assurance which M. le 
Tellier had also given him when they had been to see him 
together. It was true that the latter had appeared 
very much surprised, when the maréchal had told him 
that the discussion was concerning my post. But 
eventually, he had not failed to be as civil as possible, 
and to promise him as well a thousand fine things on 
account of the influence which had been employed. 


He could not divine the origin of this change, but most 
likely I could let him know, were I to trouble to do so, 
since it seemed impossible for me to know nothing 
about it. 

I answered him quite sincerely that ail that I could 
say was, that I had been informed that M. le Cardinal 
vvould not consent to my giving up my post ; that I 
had just heard this from M. de Navailles, who had that 
moment left me ; that this change surprised me just as 
much as himself, because it seemed to me that this 
minister ought not to change his mind so soon con- 
cerning me, after the little attention he had a thousand 
times bestowed on the matter. M. le Maréchal de 
Clérembaut must, I added, hâve told him that it was 
my post he was discussing, whilst he was asking to 
hâve the disposai of it, so it was surprising enough, 
and even incompréhensible that, after having consented 
in the way he had, he should now be unwilling to give 
his assent. 

The captain rejoined that, when the maréchal had 
spoken of it, no one had been mentioned by name. 
He had only asked the Cardinal for the disposai of a 
lieutenancy in the Guards, without specifying the 
person from whom he was going to purchase it. There 
layhis mistake, and the apparent cause of the Cardinal 
retracting his word. Nevertheless, I must take con- 
solation, since, if this minister did not want to ruin me, 
as seemed likely, he might not be so considerate 
towards everyone else. One of my comrades would 
some time be discovered, who would be willing to get 
rid of his lieutenancy, and, as he now knew how to 
manage matters in a way to encounter no obstacles, 
he would, on another occasion, when désirons of pur- 



chasing the post, not fail to do everything necessary. 
At the same time, he asked me for the return of his 
money, as it was right that I should give it back, but, 
having used up a thousand crowns of it, I replied that 
for the présent ail I could do was to return eleven 
thousand crowns, because, as I had believed I was to 
départ in less than forty-eight hours, I had made use 
of the rest to pay my debts. I added that I was now 
very sorry for this, but, not having been able to foresee 
what was happening to-day, he must give me a little 
time to meet the situation. 

This captain was rather a hard man, so, instead of 
receiving my excuse civilly, he retorted, roughly enough, 
that he did not understand how I made this out. One 
ought never, it appeared to him, to dispose of money 
which was not one's own and his did not belong to me 
till such time as he should hâve been established in my 
post. This was the custom of good society, without 
it being permissible in any way to pass its limits. I 
replied (without taking either a higher or lower tone, 
for, had I spoken more haughtily, it might, perhaps, 
hâve seemed as if I was trying to pick a quarrel with 
him, because I owed him money) that I agreed that 
such was the custom about a deposit, but his money 
had appeared to me to be my own property, and, con- 
sequently, I had been able to dispose of it as I had 
done, without violating the most strict rules of honesty. 
I was, however, sorry for it to-day, since things had 
turned out differently. This was ail I could plead in 
my own justification, always supposing that I had 
made a mistake, for which excuse was necessary. In 
spite of this, I thought there was no need of any, and, 
doubtless, he would form just the same opinion as 


myself, were he to be willing to think the matter over 
a little. 

The captain was so uncivil, or, to be more accurate, 
so brutal, as not to be satisfied with my answer. He 
was beginning to irritate me terribly. I was not at ail 
long-suffering by nature, so I fait my gorge rising more 
than once. Nevertheless, having again mastered my- 
self, so as to make no retort, because, as money was 
concerned, I feared that, however right I might be, 
people might perhaps not be willing to forego apply- 
ing that proverb to me which says, " he who owes is in 
the wrong," it appeared as if my patience was making 
him even more insolent than before. At last, having 
bitten my lips several times to stop my saying that 
which my resentment brought to the tip of my tongue, 
one of my friends chanced to enter my room without 
in any way knowing what was going on. He had only 
learnt how my affairs had turned out at Court, and 
had come to congratulate me. This he thought him- 
self the more forced to do, because I had always held 
him in particular esteem, and because he had never 
been willing to approve (any more than had M. de 
Navailles) of my giving up everything, as I had been 
desirous of doing. I was delighted to see him, as I 
had need of a witness who could give an account of 
my behaviour, especially were the captain to oblige me 
to resort to force, to protect myself against his inso- 
lence. Accordingly, making no difficulties about at 
once telling him what was occurring between us two, 
he raised his voice to tell this captain that, in his 
opinion, he was wrong. There was no likelihood of 
my running away on account of a matter of a thousand 
crowns, and, even had I spent the whole of his money, 
no one could hâve blamed me for it, since, as I had 


very excellently told him, I had had good reason to 
deem it my own. 

The captain, who was a good deal more selfish than 
reasonable, rejoined that the speaker was too great 
a friend of mine for him to consent to share his views, 
and, still continuing to upbraid me as he had begun 
to do, my friend ended by not having as much patience 
as I had had. He told him that he must certainly be 
paid without a moment's delay, since he was not the 
man to grant a respite. He himself would go and get 
the thousand crowns, but would take care, whilst going 
to find them, to furnish himself with a friend who 
would help him to prove to both of us that his sword 
was as good as his tongue was evil. The captain 
answered that, if that was the only thing needful to 
restore his money to him, the matter should be soon 
settled. He had but to set out to get it, and he for his 
part would prépare to act on his proposai. Both my 
friend and myself really believed that he was speaking 
sincerely, and just as we might hâve done, had we 
been in his position. However, instead of carrying 
out what he had told us, he betook himself to the 
house of the Maréchal de Clérembaut, before whom he 
laid his demands. He told him that, instead of return- 
ing his money, I admitted having spent a part of it. 
This the maréchal believed, not knowing that the 
captain was an ill-bred fellow ; so, a moment later, I 
received a visit from a guard, who brought an order 
for me to appear before MM. les Maréchaux de France, 
to account for my actions. Never was man so astounded 
as I at the appearance of the guard ! I at once sus- 
pected on whose behalf he had been sent, and he 
himself admitted the truth of my suspicions to me. 

Meanwhile, my friend returned with the thousand 
crowns he had promised. He had just sold his silver 


plate to get me out of this mess. He was nearly as 
astonished as myself, when he perceived the guard, 
and would hardly hâve believed that he had come in 
connection with the captain's business, had I not told 
him that the man had been the first to admit it. 
However, even had he not been willing to do so, both 
of us would not hâve failed to hâve known it : for, far 
from the captain returning as he had promised, he did 
not shoMT himself again to us, except at the meeting of 
the Maréchaux de France. The Maréchal de Clérem- 
baut caused this meeting to be held the same day by 
his Personal influence, and, having been notified to 
attend, I previously took my guard to the house of 
M. de Navailles, whom I wished to tell that I should 
not be able to go and thank M. le Cardinal at his 
morning-audience, as I had been recommended to do, 
on account of the unfortunate occurrence which had 
happened to me. I did not find him at home, and, 
having written a note to let him know, my servant 
was never able to deliver it to him, although I expressly 
sent it to the house of M. le Cardinal, where I was 
well aware he would be. He was, indeed, there, but a 
guard, who disliked me, and who was at the door, 
having been malicious enough to refuse my man 
entrance, the latter had not the sensé to complain 
either to Besmaux or to some other offîcer of that 
Company,^ so as to hâve the soldier called to order. 
As ail the officers were friends of mine, or, at least, 
acquaintances, they would certainly hâve procured 
him access to M. de Navailles, for whom he was 
searching. His stupidity having duly caused this mis- 
hap, M. le Cardinal was very much scandalised at not 

I Cardinal Mazarin's Musketeers, afterwards the and Com- 
pany of Musketeers, known as " Les Mousquetaires noirs " 
from their black horses. 


seeing me. It had been by his orders that Navailles 
had corne to visit me, though he had made a mystery 
of it ; so, believing that I might, perhaps, hâve taken 
post to départ, as it had been reported to him that I 
had received my money, he told Navailles that, if I 
had done such a thing as that, after having received his 
message, I might rely that he would hâve me arrested 
wherever I might be. Navailles made answer that his 
Eminence would be doing just the right thing, but 
added that he did not think he would be put to that 
trouble. He knew me too well even to impute such a 
thing to me. It was true I did not belle my birth in 
the way of being proud, but, whatever pride I might 
hâve, I was wont to always moderate it by reason. If 
the Cardinal wished it, he would set out that very 
minute, to discover the cause of my having failed in 
my duty, and would immediately bring back the 

The Cardinal was too diplomatie to consent to such 
a thing as this. He would hâve been afraid of my 
getting too much the whip-hand of him, and of my 
thinking that he could no longer do without me. It 
was for this reason that he had instructed Navailles 
not to tell me on his visit that he had come on his be- 
half. Being therefore intent on pursuing the same 
policy for the présent, he told him that it must not 
be he who should go, it had much better be Besmaux, 
because his going would seem of much less importance. 
He would merely hâve to prétend that he had heard of 
my having wanted to départ, and had consequently 
come to congratulate me on matters having turned out 

Navailles agreed with him that he was right, and 
would even hâve done so had he not been, to such an 


extent was he wont to give way to ail his wishes ! He 
went to tell Besmaux, who was in the guard-room, 
what his Eminence desired of him, Besmaux set out 
to go and see me, and as an hour had already elapsed 
since I had returned from my ineffectuai visit to 
Navailles, he found me quite alone with my guard. 
My friend had gone away, and had strongly insisted 
upon my keeping the thousand crowns, though I had 
tried to force him to take them back. I had alleged 
as a reason that, as the man we were dealing with had 
failed to keep his word, it was no longer necessary to 
make a point of paying him so soon. MM. les Maré- 
chaux de France would listen to reason better than he, 
and would thus not refuse me the time I might ask 
for. At the same time I had tried to oblige him to 
return to get his silver plate, offering to myself give 
the silversmith whatever he might ask as the price of 
returning it. However, after having scoffed at my 
offers as being unworthy of being made to a friend, 
he had told me that he desired me to keep this money, 
because he had an idea in his head, which did not 
accord with the réception which I intended giving 
this captain. 

Besmaux congratulated me with a much heavier 
heart than Navailles had ever had. Being a man, as I 
think I hâve already said, who knew nothing about 
friendship when his own interests were concerned, far 
from telling me, or making me realise by well-chosen 
words what was going on, as sometimes is done 
amongst people of the same province, and those who 
hâve some mutual bond, he made no mention of 
the Cardinal on one side or the other, and I did the 
same thing, not alluding to the reason of the guard being 
with me. However, he could not be deceived on the 


subject, as the man was in a décent dress. He bore 
on bis back the signs of bis occupation, as that sort of 
man usually does. In spite of this, Besmaux was 
curious enough to ask me what could hâve occurred to 
bave gained me such a companion. However, as I 
desired that it sbould be Navailles who should describe 
this affair to the Cardinal, I contented myself with 
making reply, that it was a question of money which 
had involved me in a dispute with an individual, and 
not having been able to arrange it in a friendly manner, 
we had to bave the affair settled by MM. les Maréchaux 
de France. I had but spoken the truth in telling him 
this ; so, deeming it a true account, he left me a 
moment later to go and describe to his Eminence both 
what he had seen, and what I had told him. 

Before allowing him to départ, I entrusted him with 
the letter which I had written to Navailles, and which 
my lackey had brought back to me. This letter 
appeased the anger of M. le Cardinal, when Navailles 
had shown it to him, and when he had told him that 
my not appearing at his audience had been through 
no fault of my own. At the same time, Navailles told 
him that I was very unfortunate, since trouble over- 
came me when I least expected it. The Cardinal 
broke off the conversation, being afraid that he merely 
said this in order to make him understand that he 
ought to pay the liability for me, whilst awaiting an 
opportunity of doing me some good turn. Navailles 
came to see me about the matter, and declared that he 
was very much put out at not having the ready money 
handy to offer me on this occasion. I thanked him, 
not for his good will, but for his kind speeches. Indeed, 
I knew that he might not only bave lent me this sum 
had he liked, but even thirty times as much, had it 


been needecL Of ail the courtiers of his Eminence, 
there was not one whose affairs were in such a good 
State as his were. He had obtained an infinité number 
of favours from that minister, so much so, that it 
might be said that, avaricious as he was with regard 
to others, Navailles had found means to change his 
character as far as he himself was concerned. Mean- 
while, as one must take the good with the bad in one's 
friends, I took care not to show that his words 
annoyed me. On the contrary, I was as civil as I 
could possibly be, to that degree that he left me in 
great good humour. 

My friend, who had lent me the thousand crowns, 
came to dine with me. He had bidden me wait for 
him, and, having drawn me aside when we had risen 
firom table, he said that, when I should appear before 
MM. les Maréchaux de France, I must not make any 
mention at ail of him, unless my opponent should 
speak first on the subject. Should he not do so, I 
could pay him off in due time, and déclare that I had 
found my thousand crowns in the purse of one of my 
friends. Were he, however, to speak of him, I must 
ask for time to pay thèse three thousand crowns. This 
he deemed necessary, to do away with the suspicion 
that the captain might hâve been called out for being 
such a coward as to lodge a complaint about this 
affair. Accordingly, I must deny it like " murder 
itself," for I might, perhaps, not be aware that edicts 
existed, which threatened heavy penalties against those 
who might challenge others to the préjudice of the 

My friend stayed with me till three o'clock, and, as 
this was about the time that the meeting of the 
Maréchaux de France was to take place, I entered a 


carriage with three or four of my friends, who were 
desirous of accompanying me, for it is the custom not 
to allow those called before this court to go there 
quite alone : so, the more friends one has, the better 
Company one goes in. The Maréchal de Clérembaut 
was there, and though, perhaps, this was the first time 
that he found himself the sovereign judge of the 
nobihty, (for it was but a very short time that he had 
been honoured with the bâton of a Maréchal de France), 
he did nearly everything he could to prove that my 
conduct had not been straightforward. I asked him, 
with ail the respect which was his due, and which I 
should not hâve owed him six months before (for he 
was of no better family than anyone else), in what 
respect I could be accused of bad faith, as he urged ? 
I, who had disposed of money which I deemed to 
legitimately belong to me ! He was extremely sur- 
prised at my firmness, and even more so at my 
reasoning being just as fair as his own/ As he spoke 
a good deal, and even spoke very well, he had thought 
to at once overcome me by his cackle ! The other 
maréchaux listened to me, and could not disapprove 
of the liberty I was taking by contradicting my accuser. 
Nevertheless, as there are no judges who do not sup- 
port one another, especially when they see that one of 
their number is attacked in their own tribunal, the 
Maréchal d'Estrées, who gloried in overriding every- 
one, asked me what I expected to gain by ail my 

1 D'Artagnan hère speaks ironically. The Maréchal de 
Clérembault stammered and expressed himself only with great 
difficulty. Madame Cornuel, with whom he had a liaison, after 
a final interview, said : " It is a pity he is going away, I was just 
beginning to understand him." 


arguments, and whether I thought they would get me 
off paying ? 

Though lie said this rudely enough, I was delighted 
that I was asked for nothing more but payment. I 
was afraid that something further might be brought 
against me on the score of the challenge made to my 
adversary by my friend, and that both of us might be 
sent to prison. My opponent was présent at the whole 
of the proceedings, and I tried to irritate him, so as to 
make him blurt out ail his grievances. I tried after 
this to défend myself, according to my friend's advice : 
but, having remained silent for a long time, I no sooner 
perceived that he had been wise enough not to impli- 
cate others from fear of losing his own réputation, than 
I told the Maréchal d'Estrées, by way of answer to the 
pièce of rudeness he had just favoured me with, that 
neither he nor the other Maréchaux de France would 
ever hâve seen me before them, had I had to deal with 
a man with sufficient patience to wait merely twenty- 
four hours. As a matter of fact, I had already pro- 
cured the thousand crowns which I lacked to complète 
his money, and it but lay with him to now come and 
get them. I was very malicious in speaking thus. I 
wanted to frighten the captain, knowing from expérience 
that he was none too bold. My adversary at the same 
time, raising his voice, replied that there was no need 
for him to go : for, since he had brought the crowns to 
my house, I ought to hâve them returned to his, or, 
at least, to his lawyer's, which was half-way. This 
lawyer lived quite close to St. Eustache, the captain 
near Ste. Marie,^ and myself close to the Palais Royal. 

1 Sainte Marie-l' Égyptienne at the corner of the Rue Mont- 
martre and the Rue de la Jussienne, which last word is a 
corruption of Égyptienne. 


Upon this, the Maréchal de Clérembaut spoke, declaring 
that, after this gentleman's having cited me before the 
court, he did not think it very fit that we should meet 
each other face to face before our dispute should be 
completely adjusted. So, if his advice were followed, I 
ought to carry this money to the lawyer, who would 
return me my résignation. His viewswere those of the 
other Maréchaux de France, and, ail being of the same 
opinion, I took thèse twelve thousand crowns to the 
house of Le Cat, where the captain did not dare to be 
to receive them. This did not prevent my giving them 
to the lawyer, and, he having returned my résignation 
to me, the affair would hâve ended there, had not ail 
which had passed lain heavy on the hearts of myself 
and my friend. Accordingly, we longed to obtain 
satisfaction : this is why my friend, having gone to 
find the captain, the next morning caught him while 
rising from his bed, so that he could not get out of the 
affair, if he were a man of the slightest spirit. How- 
ever, as he was not, no sooner did he hear what my 
friend had to say (which was that he would always 
show him up as being a coward, unless he gave us 
satisfaction), than he answered that, please God, he 
would never make such a mistake as that. He knew 
that MM. les Maréchaux de France had forbidden us 
not only to resort to any violence, but, further, had 
reconciled us both. Accordingly, as it would be 
making himself doubly guilty to break their decrees, 
since it would be wanting in respect to them and to 
his Majesty, he had taken care to do nothing contrary 
to his duty. My friend was an extremely violent man, 
so, not parleying with the captain in any way after this 
reply nor restraining himself, he told him so many 


offensive things, that the man made pretence of being 
offended. Declaring that honour was concerned, he 
appointed a meeting-place in the Bois de Boulogne for 
us to fight, two against two. My friend came to tell 
me ail this, and how he had had to provoke my 
adversary to render him sensitive. I deemed ail this 
augured none too well, and, telling him at once, as 
if by inspiration, that perfidy was in the air, and that 
I would advise him not to keep this appointment, he 
replied that he would not prevent me from failing to 
go, did I feel at ail suspicious. For himself, he would 
take care not to miss it, even were his existence at 
stake. His honour was dearer to him than his life, 
and, as it would suffer if he did not keep this appoint- 
ment, it was his firm intention to be the first on the 

Such words as thèse were calculated to make me forget 
the remembrance of the obligation I was under to him ! 
No man had ever been told, as he was telling me, that, 
were I afraid, I had but to go and hide myself. True 
it is that he had not exactly used thèse terms. He had 
seen fit to conceal what he thought beneath other 
phrases not quite so harsh, but which yet meant but 
the same thing to those who knew French well. In 
conséquence, I was so outraged that, had I been able 
to engage in combat with him on the spot, without 
having exposed myself to censure, I should hâve done 
so with ail the pleasure in the world. Nevertheless, 
as I was afraid that the world might dub me as being 
a mère monster of ingratitude, I adopted a more con- 
ciliating tone with him. I pointed out that, if reason 
showed me that some danger existed, there was on 
that account no cause for saying that my courage was 


impaired thereby. He had but to lead me where he 
liked, I would follow to the end. He might repent of 
it just as much as myself, but it should make no 
différence to me, since such was his wish. 

My friend pretended not to hear my words, and, 
having the next morning made me mount horse, we 
took the road called the Chemin des Bons Hommes, 
to enter the Bois de Boulogne by the gâte which lies 
on that side of it. The meeting agreed on was to take 
place between seven or eight o'clock in the morning, 
and, having betaken ourselves to the gâte, we found it 
shut, at which I was surprised enough. It is true that 
we were then in the shortest days of the year, which 
made me, after some reflection, think that it arose 
merely from laziness having overcome the porter, and 
that he had not yet risen. We knocked, in order to 
hâve the gâte opened, and the porter, having at once 
appeared, told my friend, who was the first to approach 
him, that he must return to Paris without losing a 
moment's time, for he would inevitably be lost were he 
to advance but a quarter of a league into the Bois. 
It was full of archers ready to capture him on account 
of information received, that he was coming to fight a 
duel of two against two. 

The porter had been my friend's servant fifteen or 
sixteen years before, and, as he kept a wine-shop, he 
had obtained this information from an archer who had 
slept at his house and had given him a description of 
what was on foot, after drinking without knowing his 
connection with my friend. This had been the cause 
of his having shut the door, from fear of our making 
our appearance without his perceiving us. My friend 
was much surprised to hear him speak like this, and 


told me that I had been more in the right than him- 
self ; for this reason, he now thought that we should 
not be far wrong, were we to retrace our steps without 
even having the curiosity to look behind us. I was 
dehghted that he should take this line of his own 
accord, both because our safety was concerned, and 
because it would make him repent of his having in- 
sulted me as he had done. We immediately returned 
to Paris, and my friend having on the way asked my 
pardon for his angry behaviour to me, I made reply 
that it was very necessary to put up with certain 
things from one's friend, when one knew, as I had 
known in his case, that their intentions were not 

The captain, after having waited for us some time in 
the Bois, had the insolence to come and look for my 
friend at his very house in company with his pretended 
second, to ask him the reason of our not having made 
our appearance on the ground. He intended appar- 
ently to invest himself with a good deal of glory at 
having caught us in fault, but my friend, who had not 
allowed me to say one word, without getting angry 
at its not having been to his taste, was up in arms 
directly he heard the man speak in this way. At once 
drawing his sword, and without giving him time to 
utter any more similar speeches, he taunted him with 
not contenting himself with being a coward, and 
further declared that it was no fault of his that he had 
not added betrayal to his lack of courage. The cap- 
tain pretended not to understand what he meant by 
this and asked for an explanation, so that he might 
answer it. My friend would give him no other than 
that which he was presenting to him, that is to say, 
VOL. II 16 


a chance of fighting. But as, when once a man is full 
of feebleness, nothing can spur him on to do a good 
deed, my friand might well présent the point of his 
sword at his stomach ; the captain could never make up 
his mind to put his hand to his own weapon! His 
second did just the same before me, so much so, that 
it seemed as if he had been chosen as being the double 
of his principal, so that neither might reproach the 
other. I also held my sword in front of his stomach, 
but, perceiving that he was just as callous as his 
comrade, I began to give my friend the signal as to 
how we ought to treat thèse two worthies. My signal 
went beyond the usual ones and even beyond ordinary 
practical démonstration, for I set to to give my un- 
willing opponent a séries of blows on the head with the 
flat of my sword, a thing he bore with a patience 
which surprised me. This did not ail the same occur 
without his at first making some move. He attempted 
to get to the door, and having happily reached it, shut 
it on himself to save me, as it seemed, the trouble of 
escorting him any further. 

The captain was at once treated by my friend in 
just the same way as his second had been by me, and 
exactly followed his example. He allowed himself to 
be beaten without making even the least show of 
revenging himself, and, having tried to run away just 
as the other had done, made an effort to open the 
door. It but lay with my friend to run him right 
through. The man's back was turned towards him, 
and could not hâve been in a better position, but, as 
an honourable man never sullies his hands with the 
blood of a wretch who, far from trying to défend 
himself, seeks only to escape, my friend himself opened 


the door, so as this coward might reach the staircase. 
He did not need twice telling, and, having run down 
it with quite unusual agility, the point of his sword 
caught in the banister-rails of the staircase, and nearly 
broke his neck. He fell on his nose, his sword having 
broken in two owing to the résistance it met with 
while he was rushing down. The landlord of my 
friend, who had already heard the noise on the stairs, 
when the second had taken the trouble to make his 
exit, came up to see what this fresh disturbance might 
b^token, and found the captain, who had not, so to 
speak, the courage to get up again. Although he had 
as yet but received some blows from the flat of a 
sword, it seemed to him every minute that my friend 
was going to run him through, because he had enjoyed 
following him, to observe the state of fright he was 
reduced to. He consequently set up a howl that he 
was dead, and the landlord, being afraid that he had 
some sword -thrust in his body, because he noticed 
that my friend was seeing him out, sword in hand, 
placed himself in front of him to prevent his being 
finished off. Seeing this rampart, the captain seized 
the opportunity to rise, but, as the end of his sword was 
in its sheath, and this sheath, which was also broken, 
hanging between his legs, he tumbled down a second 
time, which strangely alarmed the landlord . This second 
fall broke his nose, and the blood at once running 
down his face, he immediately believed, not only (as 
he had already done) that he was wounded, but further, 
that his hurt was mortal, since he had not been able 
to take two steps without falling down afresh. The 
fear the landlord was in of his dying in his house, and 
that a guard would at once be placed there, as usually 

16 — 2 


happens in such a case, made him immediately call 
out to his wife to quickly send for some chairmen, so 
as to put the captain in a sedan-chair. There was 
a stand of chairmen at the corner of the street, so, the 
chair having not been long in arriving, the captain, 
vvho had his handkerchief to his nose, was placed in- 
side. So confused was he as to not say one word. 
Nevertheless, as fear still overcame him, he was as 
pale as a freshly disinterred corpse. His silence and 
gênerai condition, therefore, made the landlord more 
and more certain that his end was not far off, and 
fearing the results of such an affair, he told my friend 
that, to guarantee him against the effects of this 
assassination, and also for his own safety, he should 
take the necessary légal steps. My friend, who knew 
that his sword had not been nearer than half a foot to 
the captain's body, clearly perceived that it was fear 
which made him speak thus. He was eager to cure 
him of it, and having replied that he should calm his 
fears, since ail the blood which had been spilt could be 
but the resuit of the hurt the captain had sustained 
from his fall, the landlord's spirits began to revive. 
My friend even gave him a description of what had 
happened, so as to further reassure him. The land- 
lord enjoyed this account by reason of the interest he 
took in the whole affair. Nevertheless, as he was a 
sensible enough man, and from a province besides, 
where people understand légal quibbles to the tips of 
their fingers from their cradle up, he told my friend 
that, though there was no one killed nor even wounded, 
he must not, ail the same, fail to take the proper steps. 
The more cowardly the man he had to deal with, the 
more iikely he would be to serve him some other dirty 


turn. The trick he had tried to play him in the Bois 
de Boulogne was a spécimen of his methods. He 
should be careful, and, added he, there was no better 
pièce of advice than this that could possibly be given 

I do not know for what reason my friend had wasted 
his time in describing to this man that we had wanted 
to fight, and, in addition, that we had taken horse 
expressly for this purpose. As for myself, I should 
hâve behaved differently, had I been in his place ; but, 
as he was hasty, and as vivacity has the bad quality of 
very often making people do things thoughtlessly, he 
had, no doubt, begun his story without having thought 
over the matter in any way whatever. Be this as it 
may, not despising such a warning as this, he resolved 
to follow it, after having asked my opinion. I disliked 
everything which goes by the name of légal proceedings, 
good and bad alike, a circumstance which usually 
inspired me with much aversion for everything which 
tended in such a direction. But the captain's be- 
haviour showing me that more careful précautions 
should be taken in respect to him than with other 
people, I agreed to ail my friend wished to do. We 
sent to find a commissaire, and, having lodged our 
complaint, setting forth that this captain, in company 
with one of his friends, had come to challenge us, the 
landlord, who was from a district where no law-suit 
has ever been lost for want of false witnesses, confirmed 
our statement by his évidence. In spite of this, he 
knew nothing except what my friend had told him ; 
but, as he would hâve belied his birth-place, if he had 
testified only what he knew, he did not trouble himself 
with such a détail. He did far more, being afraid that 


what he had said would not suffice ; he further furnished 
us with two other witnesses, who were from the same 
part of the country and were no more scrupulous than 
himself. They declared that they had been at his 
house when this challenge vvas made, and, having 
testified to our unwillingness to accept it, they signed 
their évidence just in the same way as if it had 
contained only what was true. 

The captain was not from the same province as 
thèse people ; whereas they were from the city of 
Mans, he was from Montpellier, but, as cowards such 
as he always take crooked paths, he was no sooner 
outside my friend's lodgings than he deliberated how 
he might avenge the insuit he had just received. At 
first, this seemed to him difficult enough, because he 
had himself gone to court his misfortunes, and there 
was a likelihood that he would, without fail, be asked 
what he had come to do there. Nevertheless, mali- 
ciousness possessing this especial quality, that it soon 
smoothes away ail difBculties wbich may lie in its path, 
he for his part betook himself to a commissionaire, 
with whom he lodged the following dépositions : — 
" Having found in the sum of money which I had 
returned to him some false pièces, and ones which 
had not been among those he had given me, he had 
gone to find me at my house to return them. Not 
wishing, however, to go there quite alone, on account 
of his having caused me to appear before MM. les 
Maréchaux de France, he had begged one of his friends 
to accompany him. They had not found me at home, 
and, discovering that I had gone to my friend's house, 
they had both proceeded to look for me there, but not 
only had I had evil conscience enough to deny that 


I had ever given him the money in question, but, 
further, the boldness to insuit him in my friend's 
room. My friend himself had done just the same 
thing to please me, so much so that, having snatched 
up his pistols, he would certainly hâve killed him, had 
he not attempted to escape. For this purpose he had 
thought it best to make for the stairs, but, before 
reaching the bottom, my friend had called out to his 
servants to lay hands upon him and to break his 
sword. Three or four of them had assaulted him with 
their sticks and any other arms which had been first to 
hand. He had received several blows, and his sv^^ord 
had been broken in its scabbard." 

As he had hurt himself in the fall, the blows he 
spoke of seemed real enough to the commissaire, but 
ail the same, as the most necessary thing of ail was 
lacking — which was to hâve witnesses — this captain 
had the landlord sounded, to find out whether he 
would not be inclined, in considération of a certain 
sum, to do a portion of what he wanted. The land- 
lord might, perhaps, hâve been the man for him, had 
he set about bribing him earlier in the day, but, after 
having testified against him as he had just done, he 
did not think he could carry out his wishes with any 
safety as regards his own conscience, or, rather, his 
own person. 

He let us know of the proposai made him, so that 
we might be grateful to him for his fidelity. Notwith- 
standing this, we did not value it very much more, 
for, though we were obliged to him for having done 
what we wanted, as false witnesses are held in no 
esteem (although they are occasionally employed), this 
seemed as a proof that, very far from repenting of his 


behaviour, he was further ready to stick to his évidence 
like grim death. 

The captain, perceiving that he could find no 
witnesses, and that his déclarations would, in con- 
séquence, vanish into thin air, adopted the course 
of setting out for his own province, to there go and 
conceal his infamy. He no longer thought of entering 
the Guards, in which corps there was reason for 
thinking I should not give him too good a réputation, 
as long as I continued to serve. Meanwhile, it only 
lay with my friend and myself to press him terribly, 
and we were strongly urged to take this course by the 
commissaire who had taken our dépositions. As he 
resembled the surgeons, who cry out only for wounds 
and bumps, he came himself to find us, to enquire if 
we would allow our proceedings to remain where they 
were. He pointed out that we ought not to stop after 
making such a good start, for, had the captain the 
same hold over us as we had over him, he would not 
let it slip through his fingers. Apparently, he had 
heard speak of the déclaration which he had caused to 
be drawn up, and he tried to irritate us by mentioning 
it, but, as what we had done had been only to guard 
against his maliciousness, and, as we had been fairly 
successful, since we had obliged him to decamp, we 
did not think fit to give this blood-sucker a chance of 
exercising his calling. 

After the events I hâve described, I went to thank 
M. le Cardinal for what he had done for me. He 
declared that I had not been deserving of his goodness. 
I had wanted to leave him without letting him hâve a 
single Word. My reply was, that he did not then 
remember that I had before spoken to him on the 


subject, and begged him to refresh his memory. He 
rejoined that he pcrfectly recoUected everything which 
had passed on that head, but that, as he had since 
spoken to me, and as my last exploit was a novelty 
which I could not excuse, the best thing I could do 
was to make no further mention of the matter. His 
liking for me was greater than I thought, and he would 
give me proof of this before long. He had already 
spoken in this strain, so, after that, though he appeared 
on this occasion to be doing so more sincerely than 
ever, I was not sure whether I ought to repose any 
more trust in his words. Time alone, however, being 
the only thing which could instruct me as to this, I 
left matters to him without troubling any more about 

At that time he was in fairly high spirits. He had 
iust retaken Mouson and St. Menehout, and, though 
we had lost Rocroi, he hoped to recapture it without 
striking a blow. His ideas about this were based on 
the opinion he had once expressed to me, that the 
French were greater slaves to money than ail the 
other nations of Europe. There had, indeed, been 
some truth in such a statement of late, either because 
we had been taking lessons from him, as I hâve before 
said, or because there is no people which is not eventu- 
ally corrupted, when one takes to tempt them by their 
own gain. His Eminence had tried this not long ago, 
that is to say, when it was a question of making the 
cities of Paris and Bordeaux return to their duty. The 
Cardinal de Retz had facilitated the surrender of the 
one on account of obtaining a Cardinal's hat, and the 
promise of some money to help him pay his debts. 
It is true that he had ulterior objects in view, having 


flattered himself that he might himself become Prime 
Minister, but, as he had thought of this only as a last 
resource, it was clear that, by his conduct, he had in 
no way falsified the opinion which Cardinal Mazarin 
held regarding the whole of our nation. 

The same thing applied to the Prince de Conti; 
though the désire of exchanging his priest's robe for a 
wife had much contributed to his going over to his 
brother, there is much the same HkeHhood that he 
would hâve held out more firmly, had it not been for 
the splendid promises made to him. Meantime, he 
awaited their fulfilment at Cadillac without seeing the 
least appearance of its taking place. The Cardinal 
cunningly threw difficulties in the way, so as to man- 
age to marry off another of his nièces at the expense 
of the one promised to the Prince de Conti. Prince 
Thomas, who had married the sister of the late Comte 
de Soissons, had suggested his son to his Eminence as 
a husband, stipulating that he should be given back 
the post of grand master of the King's household, 
which he maintained belonged to his wife. It had 
been given to the Prince de Condé, the father of 
the duc, and the rébellion of the présent prince seemed 
to serve as a pretext for its return. The young Comte 
de Soissons appeared an acceptable enough suitor to 
the Cardinal, so he continued to trifle with the Prince 
de Conti, thinking that, once he should hâve married 
La Martinôzi, he would find means to appease any 
irritation he might feel ! Be this as it may, having 
made himself master of Paris and Bordeaux, he 
thought he could do the same thing with Rocroi, 
which was nothing in comparison with thèse two 


What further raised his hopes was, that its com- 
mander, Montai by name, was but a poor gentleman 
who had not a thousand crowns in the world; so, as 
princes of the blood and of the house of Savoy were 
governed by self-interest, his Eminence did not imagine 
that such an insignificant personage would resist their 
example. The puzzling thing was, through whom and 
how to make proposais to him. There was no one 
who could be trusted in the vicinity of Rocroi. The 
governors of Mézières, of Charleville and also of Rhetel, 
the three nearest towns, were to be regarded with great 
suspicion. To employ Fabert would hâve aroused 
attention, and besides, he and Montai were none too 

I chanced to présent myself before the Cardinal one 
day that he had been pondering over this matter, and, 
observing his pre-occupation, told him that I was very 
unhappy at his not entrusting me with some mission of 
importance, by which I could prove my dévotion. This 
speech gave him an opportunity of confiding in me, 
and he spoke of his plan and the obstacles to its 
accomplishment. In reply, I declared that it appeared 
to me that he was worrying himself over a small 
matter, and, if he would send me as part of the gar- 
rison of Rhetel, with three or four companies of our 
régiment, I would soon see what stuff this Montai was 
made of. His Eminence answered that there were 
many difficulties in the way ; Montai was somewhat 
scrupulous, and besides, M. le Prince had spies every- 
where, who informed him of ail that took place. He 
was right as to this ; many of the King's oflicers were 
in communication with the Prince de Condé, whom 
they admired for his great deeds. They only served 


the King on account of the pay they received, and 
abominated the Cardinal, whom they wished as far 
from the Court as he was at présent near it. Accord- 
ingW, not being able to contradict this minister, I said 
that I had hoped he would hâve had a sufficiently good 
opinion of me to hâve beheved that I should carry out 
such a mission with the discrétion and diplomacy it 
required, and added that it would be through no fault 
of my own were I to fail. He listened attentively, and, 
being well pleased at my talking in this way, told me 
that there was some sensé in my words, provided I 
could find means to satisfy him as to another objection 
which he could not help raising. I was well aware 
that captains in the Guards did not like to be sent to 
do garrison duty. Perhaps I remembered that there 
had been nothing but complaints from a battalion of 
that régiment, which had been sent to Sedan by the 
King's orders. The offiicers had written to him some- 
times even as many as two or three letters in one 
single day, so, had thèse letters been sent to a poor 
man and he had had to hâve paid the postage, more 
would not hâve been needed to ruin him. 

I deemed this expression more worthy of the Cardinal 
than dignified in its tone. But, as this had nothing 
to do with the matter now under discussion, I rejoined 
that I had not meant that a whole battalion should be 
sent to Rhetel, though it was for his Eminence to judge 
if the service of the King required it. One or two 
companies would be enough, and the captains might 
be excused from going ; indeed, this was necessary to 
the success of my plan. The company of which I was 
lieutenant should be one of the two sent, and the 
lieutenant of the other one should be my junior, so 


that I might hold the suprême command, and thus meet 
with no obstacles to my schéma. His Eminence 
replied that ail this was very complicated, and that he 
knew a shorter way. The King should give me one of 
thèse two companies, and the other would hâve no 
captain, or rather, he should be absent. He should be 
either governor of some fortress, or hâve something 
else to do. Accordingly, I should, in the natural course 
of events, be in command, and there would be no need 
for so much mystery. 

I did not feel at ease on hearing him speak thus. 
He really intended this time to make me a captain in 
the Guards, and, as human prudence is nothing in 
comparison with what men of the world call luck, and 
what wise and pious men term Providence, he had 
formed this résolve for a reason which was much more 
calculated to hurt than to serve me. Owing to my 
affair with the captain of the régiment of Rambures, 
his Eminence, whilst becoming aware of the bad state 
of my finances, had at the same time learnt that it 
had taken me but an hour at most to obtain the money 
I lacked to make up the sum for which I was in debt, 
and, accordingly, he had an idea that, were he to 
bestow this pn^st upon me, I should find money to pay 
him a fine just as easily as on the previous occasion. 
This is why he determined to do justice to my merits. 
I was accordingly made a captain in the Guards, with- 
out his having told me his secret, but, two days later, 
I received a letter from M. de Bartillac, the Queen's 
Treasurer, in which he informed me that he had orders 
from M. le Cardinal to let me know that I must bring 
him twenty thousand francs in twice twenty-four hours. 
Such news came as an extraordinary wet blanket upon 


me. Ail my friends had corne to congratulate me on 
my promotion to this post. It had been given me 
without M. le Cardinal or anyone belonging to him 
having mentioned a word as to the money which I 
was now asked to pay. Ail I had known was, that 
I was to give up my lieutenancy to him for him to 
dispose of to whomever he liked. I would even hâve 
assisted his Eminence to sell it advantageously, so 
grateful was I for what he had done. But his présent 
demands altering ail this, I went to iind him, to point 
out my inability to produce the first sou of this sum of 
money. The Cardinal answered me that it was not 
for himself that the money was wanted. The needs of 
the State required that one should draw some help 
from the posts which chanced to fall vacant. I was 
wrong to complain of the very moderate sum demanded. 
The custom was to always pay half the just value of 
the post one received. A company in the Guards was 
worth forty thousand crowns, so sixty thousand livres 
might hâve been demanded, and to ask me for but 
twenty thousand was treating me so gently that I 
ought not to appeal against it. 

It is true that the Cardinal's plan had for some 
time been to make people pay about the half of the 
value of any post they received or thereabouts. Never- 
theless, though he wanted me to be so grateful, I did 
not perceive that he was treating me more favourably 
than others. My old post, which was his to sell, and 
the twenty thousand francs which he now asked for 
were about the half of what my présent one might be 
worth. I did not fail to tell him this, for, if one did 
not dare to answer him back, he would willingly hâve 
trampled upon one's body. He then asked me a nice 


thing, to wit, what my lieutenancy had cost, and if I 
had ever given much money for it ? I replied no, and 
that it had been given me for nothing, upon which he 
retorted that I must not then say that I was not better 
treated than anyone else, since it cost others at least 
twenty thousand crowns to obtain, and myself but 
twenty thousand francs ! He added that I should not 
make myself very ill by giving that sum, and I must 
not say that I could not find it, for I had found another 
in a minute, when such a thing had not been necessary. 
I should hâve argued a long time with him, had 
he been willing to let me, but, having left me quite 
alone without saying anything more, Debor came up to 
me and asked me w^hat v^^as the cause which made 
me so sad, that my face itself showed my state of 
mind. This was a very ill-timed speech of his, for 
he knew the reason just as well as myself. The fact 
was that he had been sent by M. le Cardinal to find 
out exactly when I was going to pay the twenty 
thousand francs, and he had specially selected Debor, 
with whom at one time I had been friendly enough, to 
make thèse enquiries. However, as it is not a good 
thing to be too clever, especially with people who 
know how to take care of themselves, his Eminence 
gained so little thereby, that he was no wiser than 
before. Nevertheless, either firom the instigation of 
the minister, as I believe, or from the good-will of cer- 
tain persons, I received in less than twenty-four hours 
five notes setting forth that I had but to speak, and the 
sum in question would be at my service. There were 
four of them, which were, one from M. de la Basinière, 
paymaster of the treasury, one from M. de Lionne, one 
from M. de Servient, and yet another from M. Hervart. 


Thèse were four good enough purses to draw upon, 
except that of M. de Lionne, who was none too rich, 
but, as ail the four were on terms of the greatest in- 
timacy with the Cardinal, I thought that it was he who 
had set them to work, and nothing has ever been able 
to disabuse me of this idea, in which I do not think I 
was wrong, as I leave everyone to judge. His inten- 
tion apparently was to at ail events obtain my acknow- 
ledgment, under the name of him whom I might 
secretly consent to deal with, calculating that this 
would always be better than nothing at ail, especially 
as I was resolved to marry, and was more than ever on 
the way to making a good match. 

The fifth of thèse notes was of quite a différent kind 
from the four others. It came from a woman of easy 
virtue, and she herself did not deny this, which is rare 
enough in the présent century, when everyone wants to 
pass for something quite différent from what they really 
are. After having congratulated me on my promotion, 
she informed me that I knew her by réputation only, 
a thing which would not cause me to think her letter 
of much account. There was nothing in this world 
like the possession of wealth. She had even discovered 
that it was a necessity, when no more than fifteen 
years of âge. This had made her form a résolve to 
never die a beggar, and she had succeeded none too 
badly. It was true it had cost her a little kindness to 
people, for whom at bottom she had no great esteem, 
but they had paid so well for it that she had no regrets. 
Her income exceeded twenty thousand livres, and it 
was well invested in Paris, without counting a quantity 
of valuable furniture and silver plate. She had besides 
ten thousand silver crowns in ready money in her 


closet. Ail this was more than sufficient to pay what 
M. le Cardinal was asking of me. It would cost me 
but a yes before a priest, and though she could only 
offer me the leavings of two great financiers, they had 
seemed so fair to a number of people of the Court, 
that they had not scrupled to propose the same bar- 
gain as she was to-day suggesting to me. She sincerely 
owned that she had a fancy for me, and at the same 
time admitted her way of living : so that, were I to 
take her at her word, I should not afterwards be in the 
position of a man who could tell her that she had 
deceived him. 

This note might hâve tempted a good many people 
more than the four others. The lady was very pretty 
and was as yet in the flower of her âge. She was no 
more than twenty-five years old, but, as she had taken 
to her profession betimes, as she herself made no 
scruple about saying, her réputation was so widespread 
in Paris, that she was just as well known as the wife 
of the First Président might be. This was the reason 
that I did not hesitate for a moment as to the course I 
should adopt. Nevertheless, being anxious to dis- 
cover whether the fancy she had declared for me 
would not be capable of making me obtain a share in 
her wealth without its costing me the word she asked 
for, I told the bearer of the note that I would go my- 
self and give my answer in the afternoon. I took care 
not to miss this appointment, and, doing my best to 
not only sustain her goodwill towards myself, but 
further increase it, so that she might refuse me noth- 
ing, she said, observing that I was beginning to make 
great professions of gratitude and love, that ail this 
might be well and good with a dupe, but for herself she 

VOL. II 17 


would hâve nothing to say to it, without the assistance 
of a law3'er and a priest. She wanted me as a husband 
and not as a lover, and for this reason she advised me, 
as a good friand, to put aside ail my compliments, unless 
I at the same time clothed them with the forms she had 
mentioned. This answerwas not that ofastupid woman, 
but, as I thought myself as shrewd as she was and hoped 
to insensibly lead her to my point of view, were she to 
give me a little time, I replied that it seemed to me a 
good thing to make one another's acquaintance before 
concluding the bargain she had proposed. Madame 
de Miramion had once told me the same thing, as 
I think I hâve mentioned, when I had wanted to make 
her my wife.^ I therefore could not fail to follow her 
example, though it was with another end in view. My 
intention was to persuade her to see me in spite of ail 
her shrewdness, for I knew that, when once a woman 
has a fancy for anyone, he has but to be attentive 
to her and murmur sweet things in her ear to make 
d good deal of progress in a short time. But she 
was cleverer than I thought ; accordingly, either be- 
cause she saw through my plan, or because she had 
formed the résolve of beginning where other people 
end, she rejoined that she had no need to know me 
any better to settle her course of action ; as for myself, 
she did not know my intentions, but it appeared to her 
that ail I had to wish for was to be enlightened as to 
whether she had the property she had informed me of, 
or whether she had not. If this was the reason I 
wanted to know her, she thought it no bad one, but, if 
I had any other, as it could not but be disadvantageous 
to herself, I need only not take the trouble to corne 
and see her again. 

I See Vol. I., p. 416. 


It would not hâve been honourable for me to make 
use of the pretext, which she herself was furnishing me 
with, to carry out my plan. A man always looks 
awkward if he appears self-seeking, especially on those 
sort of occasions on which it is a question of making a 
favourable impression. For this reason people always 
leave thèse kind of enquiries to their relatives or friends, 
whilst they themselves do nothing else but make pro- 
testations of love, respect and unselfishness. Being 
therefore extremely embarrassed as to what answer to 
make, because, indeed, I saw nothing which I could 
say likely to content her, '* Ah ! " cried she, perceiving 
my discomfiture, "I pity you for being so sincère; 
you wish to lie to me, but dare not do so. This is 
extraordinary enough in a courtier, whom it usually 
costs nothing to say everything he has never thought 
of. As regards yourself, however, I divine your 
thoughts very well without your being obliged to tell 
them to me. My property would suit you admirabl}', 
were I willing to give it you to become your mistress, 
but if, like me, you in your turn also perceive what my 
ideas are, you must clearly see that you hâve no reason 
ever to hope to touch my fortune, except on the 
conditions I hâve proposed to you." At the same 
time, she asked me what kind of a woman I took 
her for, when I had got it into my head to try and 
get the better of her? She added that I had not 
thought over things much, when I had asked her for 
time. M. le Cardinal would give me none, and ail Paris 
knew, like herself, that I had but twice twenty-four 
hours to find my money in, and, therefore, if I wanted 
hers, I had not a moment to lose. 

Seeing her so clever and so resolute, I deemed that 



I should only be losing my time by protracting my 
dealings with her any longer. She wanted someone to 
marry her, and I was not the man for that, so I with- 
drew in silence. Notwithstanding this, to do everything 
politely, and without giving her cause to complain of 
my behaviour, instead of telling her my reasons for not 
being willing to think of this business, I told her that 
I would return to see her immediately. I do not know 
whether she really believed this, or whether she did 
not rather perceive that it was but an excuse. Be this 
as it may, keeping my word was the last thing I dreamt 
of, when I had left her house. If I was to become one 
of the great confraternity of cuckolds, as only happens 
too often to most of those who marry, I was at least 
desirous that it should not be with my own knowledge. 
I deemed a thing like this unworthy of an honourable 
man. I was not of the disposition of certain people 
whom I see in the world, snatching up their swords 
and gloves, when theysee their wives' gallants coming! 
It is true that I did not believe this girl to be of a 
character to cause scandai, once she should hâve 
obtained a husband ; much rather did I think that her 
idea was to live as a respectable woman. But it was 
enough for me that she had not lived in this way 
whilst she was unmarried, to hâve no regrets for her 
riches. Accordingly, though I well knew that I had 
lost them, only because I was much more délicate in 
my feelings than a number of other people would hâve 
been, had they been offered a chance of this kind, not 
a moment was necessary for me to console myself in. 


Y speech to M. le Cardinal was calculated 
to make him leave me in peace. Twenty 
thousand francs were to him as a drop of 
water in the sea, so to speak; instead of 
which, to me it was like Peru itself. But, 
he understood no one, when his own interests 
were concerned, hardly had the forty-eight 
hours, which he had given me to make my payment in, 
elapsed, when he asked M. de Bartillac if I had taken 
care to satisfy his demands. I think he did this more 
for the sake of form, and that he knew just as well as 
I did what the real state of affairs was. The people 
who had offered me money had apparently let him 
know that I had declined it, or I am very much 
deceived. Bartillac, who was a good man and a 
benevolent one, replied that I had not produced one 
sou, and had contented myself with demonstrating to 
him my inability to pay. I had nothing in the world 
but my post, and, as no money could be raised upon 
that, he had not pressed me to let him lend me money. 
It was not true that I had seen him ; he merely told 
the Cardinal this to assist me, and without knowing of 
the ofîers of the four people, or rather of his Eminence. 


M. le Cardinal shook his head at hearing him speak 
thus, meaning to express that he was not at ail pleased, 
and that I was not so much in want of friends as he 
thought. Fearing, however, that M. de Bastillac was 
not the man to divine what he meant by this, he pro- 
ceeded to tell him in plain language that it had but 
rested with myself to make this payment. This he 
knew for certain. Several courtiers had corne to tell 
him that a man was very lucky who received any 
favour from the Court, for ail the best purses were 
immediately open to him. Whether one had much 
money or none, friends immediately appeared. Of 
this I was a good example, — an individual who, having 
but a mantle and sword, had no sooner obtained a 
Company in the Guards, than four men of importance 
wrote to lay their purses at my service ! Ail this 
behaviour of mine but arose from my disinclination to 
pay the money ! M. de Bartillac must therefore see 
me again and inform me that I would be given but 
twenty-four hours more to liquidate this debt in, and 
were I to fail, the King would know what to do. He 
added, that I was to be told that I had only to accept 
the money which had been placed at my service. 
This would much surprise me, for I might not perhaps 
as yet be aware of his knowledge of what was going on. 
This speech of his Eminence, which M. de Bartillac 
repeated to me word for word, thoroughly confirmed me 
in my idea, that it was the Cardinal who had procured 
me so many friends, who on another occasion might 
perhaps hâve been behindhand. Perceiving eventually 
no way out of ail this, I resolved to go and see M. de 
la Basinière, who was one of my friends. I preferred 
him as a lender to the three others, because I knew, 


whether it was his ovvn money or the Cardinal's, he 
would not be a hard créditer to deal with. I had 
noticed that, though an extremely selfish man, as are 
nearly ail financiers, he had besides a greater weakness 
than that. He loved flattery to an incredible degree, 
so, as it would cost me nothing to bestow this upon 
him, I determined to in this way pay him the 
interest on the sum I was going to borrow. Fool- 
ishly enough, I believed that this would content 
him, and my reason was that I had seen numbers 
of people at his table, who paid him in no other 
coin. I reached his house before dinner, and, as 
his conceit led him to take pleasure in letting every 
sort of person see him eat, he at once told me that one 
knew one's friends by the trouble they took to corne 
and keep one company at supper. I replied that this 
was partly the reason of my coming, but that there 
was yet another ; the fact was, the Cardinal had shown 
himself a regular Turk with respect to myself, and so, 
being obliged to change my mind, I had come to beg 
him to let me hâve the money I had before refused. 
M. de la Basinière very obligingly replied that his 
purse was at my disposai now, just as it had been 
before, and the twenty thousand francs should be 
counted out to me after dinner. He added that 
he was much flattered at my preferring him to 
MM. Servient, De Lionne and Hervart, who he 
knew had written to me on the same subject, the 
moment they had known my need. I was indeed 
doing him justice in deeming that he was much more 
my friend than any of thèse gentlemen. 

This speech would hâve further confirmed me in my 
idea, that ail thèse four men had done had only been 


by the orders of M. le Cardinal, if I had really had the 
slightest doubts on the subject. However, as my mind 
was made up, it made no différence to me whatever. 
Nevertheless, chancing to mention to M. de la 
Basinière (without having any idea that it could any- 
way affect me) that neither he nor the other three 
gentlemen had been the only people who had ofïered 
me money, he pressed me so much to explain myself, 
that I did not think I ought to make any further secret 
of the matter. I told him frankly of the offers of the 
woman, and informing him at the same time that I 
should not hâve scrupled to accept them, had she not 
insisted upon some conditions which were too severe 
for me to accept, I had no need to say more for him to 
at once guess what thèse conditions were. On my 
admitting the truth of his surmises, he at once said 
that, now I had told him this, he would hâve some- 
thing to say to me directly we had dined. He would 
indeed hâve spoken at once, so eager did I perceive 
him to become, had not dinner been announced, and 
a great company of people been awaiting him. We 
were then in his study, and, having both entered the 
dining-hall, we sat down to table and indulged in such 
good cheer that, had one been at the King's, one could 
not hâve been any better served than we were. A 
quantity of subjects were discussed, and amongst 
others, the exploits of Montai, who was beginning to 
make a great stir throughout the whole of Champagne. 
It was Hervart who opened this conversation, and, as 
he was entirely devoted to the Cardinal, a thought 
flashed across my mind, which perhaps may hâve been 
false or may hâve been true. I conceived an idea that 
the Cardinal had confided to him that I was to go to 


Rhetel and had bidden him speak of this governor, so 
as to discover whether I was likely to embark in some 
indiscrétion, and be communicative from a too great 
désire to show my importance. 

An idea such as this was more than enough to make 
me cautions, even had I been a great talker, which, 
thanks be to God, I was very far from being. I had 
learnt from my father, whilst in the cradle, that one 
never repented of having kept silence and that, on 
the contrary, one nearly always repented of having 
broken it. For this reason, nothing was wont to 
escape my lips without my having first of ail weighed 
it well, a fact which had sometimes made my 
friends say, when they saw me so reserved, that I 
should hâve suited the ancient times, when there 
was a temple of idols, for I should hâve not done 
badly in the way of speaking as an oracle. Hervart 
was very much surprised to see me so reserved, either 
because he really had orders to make me speak, or 
because the subject under discussion was more one 
for a military man than for business people, which 
most of the company were. It seemed quite odd that 
I should hold my peace, whilst others let themselves 
go, without knowing whether what they said was sensé 
or not. 

Dinner being over, M. de la Basinière, who, after 
the fashion of the Court, affected to be on familiar 
terms with ail who came to see him, proceeded to 
say that he had something to tell me and we should 
return to his study. I believed this was in order to 
give me the money, or, at least, an order to receive it 
from one of his clerks. However, after he had again 
made me repeat the offers which the woman had made 


me, he declared that he was too much my friend not 
to blâme me for having refused them. Accordingly, 
so as to oblige me to return to her and thereby cause 
me to recover a fortune, he no longer had any money 
to lend me. Notwithstanding this, he intended to 
demonstrate by such a refusai that he was a thousand 
limes more my benefactor than if, by misplaced kind- 
ness, he was to make me master of ail the wealth which 
was at his disposai. What he would do for me 
besides, was to mention this matter to M. le Cardinal, 
so that, in place of the twenty-four hours he had given 
me to produce my money, he might accord me just as 
much time as would be necessary for me to complète the 
marriage which was proposed to me. 

The person surprised was myself, when I heard him 
talking in this way. I retorted that surely he did not 
think of wishing me to marry a prostitute. I called a 
spade a spade, being thoroughly angry at his having 
dared to propose such an infamy. M. de la Basinière 
burst out laughing at my reply, at once rejoining that 
I might perhaps marry one who, very far from enrich- 
ing me as this one would do, might be just as much a 
beggar as myself. He asked my pardon for his blunt- 
ness, but, in short, one ought to speak frankly to one's 
friends, for to flatter them was not giving proof of 
being really what one said one was. He told me, 
besides, much more of exactly the same nature, 
so much so that, hardly knowing whether I was 
dreaming or awake (so much did his words surprise 
me), I eventually told him that, if he wished me to 
believe that he was one of my friends, as he was 
taking pains to make me think, I would beg him to 
give me better advice than that. Everything which 


tended to impair my honour could only arise from an 
evil source, or, at least, from people who did not care 
about making me lose ail which I held most dear. I 
was about to tell him a good deal more, so moved was 
I, when he interrupted without letting me say anything 
further. He said that he clearly perceived that my 
case was like that of those people who had to be 
bound, to hâve an arm or leg eut off, when necessity 
required it ; so, as I was like them in wanting to ruin 
myself despite my friends' advice, I must be treated in 
exactly the same way. Binding not being requisite, as 
there was no question of amputating an arm or a 
leg to save the rest of the body, my hands must yet 
be tied so tightly, that I should be forced to do what 
reason and my prosperity demanded. A chance was 
before me of attaining a comfortable position, and it 
must not be missed by any foolish tenderness for my 
feelings. He reiterated that he no longer had any 
money to extricate me from my difficulty, for it would 
not be acting the part of a friend to waver on an 
occasion like this. I might obtain what I wanted 
from the purse of the woman who offered it, if I chose, 
and not hâve to return it. This was the best advice 
he could give me. To this he added that, should I 
deem his words a little rough, a time would come 
when, very far from entertaining such a thought, I 
should praise him and bless him for having forced 
me against my own will to choose the course of action 
which was best for me. 

This is ail the answer I could obtain from him ; so, 
being quite shocked at his behaviour, I could not help 
saying that I had up to this time thought that ail 
those who called themselves honourable men shared 


the same ideas, but that, after what I had just heard, 
I clearly realised that I had been deceived. Financiers 
must certainly hâve quite a différent moraUty from 
military men, since I did not believe that there was 
a single man, who wore a sword, who would be of a 
humour to follow his advice. Nevertheless, he was 
giving it me not only as being passable, but further 
praised it as most excellent. For myself, I took quite 
a différent view, and one of us two must be wrong. 
He might keep his money, since he valued it so much 
as to wish to persuade me to purchase it at the 
expense of my honour. I would never in my life 
ask for it again, especially when he wanted to put 
such a price upon it as this. 

I left his house in such a rage that, instead of going 
straight to M. Servient or to the others, who had made 
the same offer as M. de la Basinière, I returned home 
to let my anger cool a little. There I thought well 
over the matter, and decided I should only hâve to 
déclare to M. le Cardinal or Bartillac, in order to avoid 
paying the money or at least defer its payment, that 
the man I hâve just spoken of had refused to lend it 
me. As I was extremely irritated at his rudeness, I 
rather desired that his Eminence should discover his 
bad faith, indeed, I intended to bruit it abroad every- 
where. I did not fail to tell everyone I met of his 
behaviour, and, as he was none too civil, which caused 
him to hâve enemies, and possessed great riches, for 
which he was envied, within twenty-four hours the 
whole of Paris knew of the fine advice he had tried to 
give me. M. le Cardinal was the only one who did not 
know it, or, at least, pretended not to, for he sent 
Bartillac to me to say that he did not like my laughing 


at him like this, and would for the last time request 
me to do what he had ordered, for, should I fail to do 
so, he would know very well what course to take in 
order to be obeyed. 

Thèse threats did not astonish me, for they were 
usual with him in such cases. I told Bartillac, so that 
he might repeat it to his Eminence, of the bad faith of 
M. de la Basinière, and also described the pretext he 
had alleged as its cause, — a pretext which appeared to 
me so extraordinary, that I could not help thinking 
that he was of an evil disposition. Bartillac replied 
that he shared my views. He had already heard ail 
the détails of this affair, and begged me to except him 
from the number of those who preferred money to 
honour. He had, he said, a son whom he wished to 
marry as soon as possible, but, rather than he should 
marry a woman such as the one I had been advised to 
take, he would himself drown him. I was delighted to 
hear him speak words like thèse, which confirmed me 
in the high estimate I had already formed as to his 
character, ever since I had known him. Meanwhile, he 
advised me, as a good friend, to settle this matter with 
the Cardinal as speedily as possibh. I might, he said, 
avail myself of what I had told him as an excuse, He 
himself would let him know of it, but he much feared 
it would avail me but little, for he appeared as bent 
upon getting this money as if it had been a million. 
I must do what I could, because the sooner it was 
settled the better for me. 

In conséquence of this advice and the minister's 
avarice, which I so well knew, instead of going at once 
to see him, I went to M. Servient. As he held the 
keys of the treasury, I could think of no better man ; 


besides, he had promised me the money. For this 
reason, being ushered into bis study by one of bis 
clerks in a very confident frame of mind, I made 
exactly tbe same speech to bim as I bad done tbe day 
before to M. de la Basinière. I took good care bow- 
ever to avoid mentioning tbe woman in any way, lest 
be sbould take to giving me tbe same advice as tbe 
otber, but, as M. de la Basinière bad bimself told bim, 
I found bim not only fully aware of it, but also so 
imbued witb bis ideas, tbat be told me that, when one 
possessed resources such as I did, one sbould not 
resort to one's friends. Altbougb twenty tbousand 
francs were a mère nothing, tbey were sometimes 
barder for bim to find than a large sum. He was at 
tbe moment overdrawn to tbe extent of five millions, 
so tbat be bad not one sou in bis bouse. Tbis was 
putting me off just as rudely as bis colleague bad 
done, and sbowing also as little rigbt feeling ; so, being 
as ill-pleased witb tbe one as tbe otber, I betook my- 
self to tbe bouse of Hervart, to see if be was like tbese 
otber two. He was closeted in bis study witb bis 
secretary (Debi by name), wbo was an bonest enougb 
man, and wbo bad always sbown me mucb good will. 
Tbey were, I was told, engaged on an important 
matter, so, thinking tbat I ougbt not to interrupt tbem, 
I determined to wait till tbey bad finisbed. Tbere 
were some people in tbe waiting-room witb wbom I 
discussed différent matters. At last, after balf or tbree- 
quarters of an bour, Debi came out of bis master's 
study, and baving noticed me, came and asked wbat I 
wanted done. I described my business as briefly as 
possible, and tbougb be was from a province wbere 
people are not usually afraid to burden tbemselves 


with a woman of easy virtue, always providing that 
she has something whereby to lighten the horns which 
she brings as dowry to her husband, he could not 
help at once shrugging his shoulders from impatience. 
He proceeded to express his surprise at people of such 
weight and réputation having advised me to enter upon 
such a marriage, and declared that, for himself, he very 
much approved of my répugnance, since I was a man 
of honour and a man of honour never forgot what was 
due to himself. He added that, if by any chance I 
did not find the twenty thousand francs of which I 
stood in need in his master's purse, I should do so in 
his, but he would give me a pièce of good advice, whom- 
ever I borrowed the money from, which was, to ask for 
a "brevet de retenue"^ on my post, which I should try 
and get made out for forty or fifty thousand francs, or 
even more, if possible ; it would always be of use, and 
besides, serve as security for the money I might borrow. 
Though I perceived he was looking after his own 
interests, in case I should accept his offers, I could not 
blâme him ; for I might die or be killed, in which case 
any lender would run a great risk of losing his money. 
However, I did not care to involve my friends in any 
way for my sake, so I thought it best to address myself 
to those who had offered me their help, There were 
two of thèse left — his master and M. de Lionne. I 
entered the former's study, to see if I should be 
greeted in the same way as I had been by Basinière 
and Servient. I ought to hâve expected no better 
réception from Hervart, for he was of Swiss nationality, 
and he would hâve had to hâve belied the usual 
réputation of his countrymen, if he had been willing 

^ Brevet de retenue : A kind of charge which could be used as a 
security for borrowing money upon. 


to help me. I duly set forth the object of my visît, 
and, having done so, he was unable to reply, like 
Servient, that he had no money. Debi had just 
counted eut fifteen thousand louis d'or which lay out- 
side their bags, though the custom was to weigh and 
not to count them, and I do not rightly know why this 
usage had been broken. Be this as it may, not being 
able, as I hâve said, to give this reason for being 
untrue to his word, he made use of the same excuse as 
La Basinière to get rid of me. He asked me straight 
out, which was the most hurtful to a man's figure, — to be 
made a cuckold, or a sword-thrust in the water ? I saw 
what he was driving at and consequently replied in a 
way which should hâve dumfounded him, had he not 
apparently been animated by the same sentiments as 
his colleagues. I said that neither a sword-thrust in 
the water nor a man's making love to a woman really 
spoilt the figure of him who was interested ; but, as the 
one upset the mind in a dreadful degree, whereas the 
other did not deserve the least thought, he must allow 
me to tell him that no comparison was possible. Upon 
this he retorted, that only fools and people of unsound 
judgment worried about what I spoke of. A cuck- 
old's leg was no worse made, because his wife 
amused herself. In his idea, the only thing which 
should give one a headache, was to hâve an affair on 
hand, without money to extricate oneself from it ; and, 
as I was in such a plight, I should be able to give him 
an answer on the subject. He proceeded to advise 
me, as a friend, not to lose the chance I had, and a 
proof of his friendship was, that he had no money to 
lend me. I ought to take what was offered and put 
myself in a comfortable position for the rest of 
my life. 


From this answer I clearly divined that ail three had 
agreed on a given course of action to annoy me ; so, 
thinking that it was useless to say any more, I went 
to see M. de Lionne, whom I found out. Discovering 
on enquiry, that he would not return till the evening, 
I went for a walk, in order to décide on some course of 
action and pass the time between then and now, call- 
ing at my house to see if anyone had been to visit me. 
My landlord told me that no one had called, except a 
servant with a letter which he proceeded to give me. 
No sooner had I cast my eyes upon it, than I per- 
ceived that it came frora the woman. I opened it to 
see what more she might want, after what I had told 
her. I thought that I had shown that there was noth- 
ing to be hoped for from me. Be this as it may, 
having opened this letter, I perceived that she 
expected nothing — far from it, she merely reproached 
me for my behaviour, and said that it was a strange 
thing that her good will towards me should hâve 
but drawn my slanders upon herself. I had been 
quite at liberty to take her or not, there was nothing 
to be said on that score ; but, if this was permissible, 
to cruelly bruit her name abroad, as I had done, 
was not. 

From the style in which her letter was couched, I 
saw that she did not like my having boasted, as I had 
done, of the offers she had made me. Indeed, ail 
Paris was talking about it, and, as she had said 
nothing to anyone, and it could only hâve become 
known through what I had confided to La Basinière 
having become common property, more was not needed 
to make me admit that I had been wrong. I went to see 
her to apologise and frankly own in what spirit I had 
VOL. II l8 


acted. My conduct had in no way arisen from a spirit 
of slander, and I could hâve taken whatever oath she 
might hâve desired to that effect, but I was not troubled 
to do so. She refused to see me, either because she 
did not want my civility, or w^as outraged at the con- 
tempt I had shown for her, by refusing the proposai 
which she had not herself scrupled to make to me. 

This refusai delighted rather than pained me. After 
what La Basinière, Servient and Hervart had done, I 
had reason to be afraid of De Lionne following their 
example, but now, neither M. le Cardinal nor any of 
his créatures could again tell me that I ought to 
hâve recourse to this woman to procure the money. 
For, being enraged, which she could show in no 
better way than by refusing to open her door, as she 
had done, she was at présent very far from wishing to 
give me any. I should, therefore, hâve heartily desired 
that M. de Lionne should, like the other three, hâve 
given me a refusai, for I flattered myself that, once 
M. le Cardinal should really be convinced of my in- 
ability to pay, he would leave me in peace. However, 
De Lionne, who was a more honest man than the 
others, having taken care not to break his word once 
it was given, told me that very evening that, though he 
had not the money by him, he would not fail to find it 
for me by the next morning, but he must, he added, 
ask me for certain reasons to let no one know that he 
was the giver. This was a more important thing than 
I could imagine. He would ask me for an oath to 
that effect, and I ought not to refuse it, so as to let his 
mind rest in peace. 

The oath he wished to exact more than ever con- 
vinced me that it was M. le Cardinal who had set ail 


four to work, when they had offered me money. I also 
concluded that M. de Lionne, being more honourable 
than the others, did not wish to lay himself open to my 
accusing him of having broken his word, and so was 
about to lend me the money, in spite of the Cardinal's 
having now forbidden such a thing. I assured him 
that I would do ail he wished, adding that I would be 
sincerely grieved to inconvenience him in any way, and 
would not permit him to borrow for me, since he had 
no money at hand. He most honourably rejoined that 
it was of no conséquence whatever ; he had, he said, a 
purse at his command, which never failed, but, even 
were it to do so, he would not fail to extricate me from 
my difficulty. I might not know that there were some 
subjects on which the Cardinal did not understand 
joking. For this reason I ought to settle this matter 
at once, and he thought he need say no more. A mère 
word was needed to send me back to my province, and, 
as no greater misfortune than that could ever happen 
to me, especially to-day, when I was beginning to see 
the way to making a fortune, there was nothing I 
ought not to do to guard myself against such a fate. 

By this he meant becoming a captain in the Guards ; 
indeed, once one had obtained a post of this kind, it 
was rare that one left it without a governorship, and 
he looked upon the governorship of a fortress much as 
a fat abbey, in which also he was not far wrong. Be 
this as it may, having made an appointment the next 
morning at nine o'clock for me to corne and get my 
money, he sent to beg the treasurer-general of the 
states of Brittany to send him this sum. It was a 
man named Harouis who then held this post, and still 
holds it to-day. No man was ever more obliging than 



hfe ! He had never known what it was to refuse any- 
thing to an honourable man, so much so that, had one 
asked him to give himself, I think he would at once 
hâve done so. He had, besides, none of the ways of a 
business man, having much more those of a prince, so 
generous was he ! Apparently this came to him from 
descent, for, regular financier as he was, his was no 
low origin, as is usual with ail the people who take up 
this profession. His ancestors had always held a 
prominent place in Brittany, and his father had been 
First Président of the Chambre des Comptes there. 
He sent M. de Lionne the twenty thousand francs 
which he had sent to ask for by letter. They had just 
come as I arrived, and, finding them still quite warm, 
I did not give them time to get cold. They were in 
beautiful double pistoles, and, having taken them away 
to the Cardinal's house, the first words he said when 
he saw me were, had I complied with the order he had 
had conveyed to me by Bartillac ? 

Though he asked me this, I was sure that he did 
not think that I had been able to do so ; for, from 
what M. de Lionne had said, and on account of a 
thousand other circumstances, it was clear to me that 
he it was who had forbidden ail four to advance me 
the money they had promised. I must say, however, 
that, far from the Cardinal wishing me evil, I really 
believe that, putting his own interests out of the 
question, he wished only to do me good. Knowing 
me to be a pauper, which to him seemed the most 
misérable thing possible, he would hâve desired me 
not to hâve shown so much delicacy and only spoke as 
he did, or, at least, I thought so, to be able to again 
repeat that I must marry this woman, since she alone 


could make a certainty of my obtaining a company in 
the Guards. His Eminence was very much surprised, 
when I had told him that I had brought the money to 
him, adding, that I had not taken it to the house of 
M. de Bartillac, as he had ordered me, because, it 
being rumoured that he was on the eve of setting out 
on a voyage, he could not furnish himself with finer 
pièces and more portable ones than those I had now to 
give him. They were quite new double louis, so much 
so that one would hâve said that not two days had 
passed since they had been minted. He enquired who 
had given them to me, and as, after what M. de Lionne 
had said, I took good care not to tell him, I made 
answer that there he was asking me a thing which I 
would not confide to my confessor himself, were he 
ever to ask it. The giver did not want to be known, 
and the best thing I could do after such a kindness 
would be to comply with this wish. 

My story made him believe that the money came to 
me from the woman who had made the offer. He 
asked to see the pièces, and, having turned them out 
upon a table, wished to know if I had counted them 
before putting them in the bag. I replied yes, and 
that I had found their number correct. The minister 
believed my word, and, having wanted to himself 
replace the coins without allowing me to help, they 
were no sooner collected together than he put his nose 
to them. I did not understand what he meant by this, 
having never heard of people smelling either gold or 
silver. Nevertheless, I had formerly read in Roman 
history that the Emperor Vespasian had once made 
his son act like this, because he had opposed an edict 
of his which dealt with certain sanitary matters. I 


had read, I repeat, that, after his son had replied that 
he could detect no smell in this money, he had re- 
joined that, notwithstanding that, it was produced by 
the edict in question, which he had declared to hâve 
such a bad odour. Be this as it may, not happening 
to think of the same thing as the Cardinal, I hardly 
gave a thought to what he was doing when, after 
having smelt the bag, he bade me smell it also. I at 
once thought that he had detected some smell, and, 
having put it to my nose and finding none, I told him 
what I thought, because he had asked me if it did not 
émit an unpleasant odour. I had no sooner let him 
hâve my opinion, than I clearly perceived that he, as 
well as myself, had read Roman history, and was even 
trying to apply it to me. Indeed, he at once told me 
that, since this money had no bad smell, everything I 
could extract from the same source would hâve none 
either. He added that he would not enquire whether 
it had been given me under promise of marriage or as 
a reward for some service already performed. I should 
be too discreet to admit such a thing, but, in short, 
wherever this présent came from, he congratulated me 
upon it. 

The Cardinal was in an excellent temper, because 
there was nothing more likely to make him so than 
the sight of the métal I had just shown him ; so, after 
some jesting, he asked me when I should like to set 
out for Rhetel, adding that my voyage was very neces- 
sary, owing to the complaints made in Champagne of 
the ravages of Montai, who was levying contributions 
up to the frontiers of Brie. I answered that, if he 
desired to stop thèse ravages, whilst I tried to arrange 
matters with that governor, I would soon let him 
know the way. This was to keep our own troops 


under stern discipline, by which they were too little 
controUed at présent. Indeed, they were as bad as the 
soldiers of the Prince de Condé in this respect, from 
whom they could not be^ distinguished, as both sides 
belonged to our nation. Many complaints had been 
already made to his Eminence about this, but he had 
deemed the evil irrémédiable, because he did not know 
how to set about arresting it. 

He was delighted at my words and at once told me 
that, if I could do the King such a service as this, I 
might rely upon a speedy reward. I thought of 
answering that ail the recompense I would ask for 
would be the return of the two thousand pistoles I had 
just given him, but, reflecting that, in his présent mood, 
he would rather give me the bâton of a Maréchal of 
France than return this money, I repressed any 
inclination to speak my thoughts. So, instead of 
saying so, I declared that a good servant of the King, 
such as I professed to be, was not swayed by self- 
interest, but left his reward to his prince ; so, without 
further ado, I would quickly let him know my views as 
to the repression of the ravages we had spoken of. 
We had only to fill our villages with soldiers and en- 
trench ourselves strongly, for in this way our troops 
would not leave their entrenchments without the 
orders of their officers, and as thèse officers would 
perceive the danger of attacks taking place at any 
moment, unless a good look-out was kept, they would 
hâve to be the first to betake themselves to thèse 
villages, so as to supervise their soldiers, whereas, now 
that their companies were in towns which they knew 

^ Regular military uniforms had not as yet been introduced. 
A scarf or other similar emblem served to distinguish the 
différent sides. 


to be safe, this was not the case. They came to spend 
their time at Paris, because the neighbourhood suited 
them well, as did the freedom in which they lived. 
This freedom was so great, that ail their actions had 
nothing to do with the career of arms, which they 
professed to follow; for, though it requires no less 
order and obédience than exists in convents, every- 
one wanted to be master, so much so that, provided 
one was a captain, one could go out on horseback 
without thinking of asking the leave of a soûl. Only 
the subalterns were compelled to observe some sort 
of discipline, and they very often broke away from it ; 
for a single lieutenant being constantly left in a 
garrison, especially when safe from attack, the other 
lieutenants or ensigns thought it shameful to go and 
salute a man who only had the advantage of being in 
command, because he belonged to a régiment which 
took precedence over their own. 

M. le Cardinal agreed with what I said, and told me 
to prépare to set out the Thursday following, and he 
would issue the order for my company to march to 
Rhetel with the one which belonged to Pradel. Pradel, 
who was Governor of St. Quentin, had gone to that 
town by the express orders of his Eminence, so every- 
thing was arranged as it should be, in order that I 
might hâve the command of thèse two companies. As 
they were to set out the same day as myself, I asked 
M. le Cardinal to allow me to remain in Paris some 
days longer, calculating that I could, by taking post, 
rejoin them before they reached Rheims. However, 
his Eminence would not consent to this, because he 
wished me to go and see M. de Voisins (who is to-day 
a Councillor of State), and who was then Intendant at 
Châlons. He was utérine brother to La Basinière, 


but, as there is more honour to be found amongst 
magistrates than financiers, I found him to be a just 
man, and one not to be corrupted like the other. I 
was ordered by the minister to lay before him a plan 
of my opérations, so that he might give me every 
assistance in carrying them out. He agreed with me 
as the Cardinal had done, and, having stayed four or 
five days with him, I set out to join my company at 
Rhetel. M. l'Intendant gave me an escort to that 
town, which was a highly necessary précaution, until 
such time as my plan should hâve been carried out ; 
but, once troops were marched into the villages, it 
was no longer needed at ail. The reason for this was, 
that sentinels were placed in the bell-towers, and as 
this part of the country is very open, signais were 
made from one to the other, and sufficient soldiers 
sent out to cope with the enemy's forces. A chime, 
more or less, of a bell announced their number. M. 
Voisin told me when I went away, that he would soon 
come and see me, as I was the originator of this plan, 
and seven days iater, he made his appearance, and we 
set out together with an escort to reconnoitre the 
villages which were to be fortified. I had lines drawn 
round those which were to be defended with palisades, 
and orders were issued for earthworks to be constructed, 
where I deemed them needful. Meanwhile, as ail thèse 
précautions must fail, unless orders were sent out for 
ail officers to return to their garrisons, thèse were 
duly promulgated and had to be obeyed on pain of 
being cashiered for disobedience. The Trésoriers de 
l'Extraordinaire 1 and their clerks were also instructed 
not to pay those who were on leave without a certifi- 

1 Thèse were the officiais who looked after additional expansés 
for " extraordinary " purposes, such as war. 


cate from the intendant. By thèse means they were 
obliged to attend to their duties. Montai at first 
attempted to worry us, but, as we were sufficiently 
strong to repel any attack, he was merely put to the 
trouble of having to retreat without having effected 

Meanwhile, so as to find means to communicate 
with him, I made fifteen of my soldiers set out one 
night on the pretext of reconnoitring. I instructed 
them to return to Paris by devions roads, with the 
exception of one, who was to act as I had previously 
directed him to do. They ail acted exactly in accord- 
ance with my orders, and the man who was not to 
return to Paris reappeared the next morning, like one 
terrified by some horrible catastrophe. He proceeded 
to describe before a number of officers at my quarters, 
how ail his comrades had been killed one after the 
other, the enemy (to the number of two hundred) 
having surrounded them in a little wood and carried 
out this fine pièce of work in cold blood, without 
heeding their prayers for quarter. He alone had by 
good luck escaped, leaving the other fourteen men 
lifeless on the ground. Only the governor and myself 
knew this to be a fabrication. I feigned to fly into a 
rage at this news, and asking the governor what he 
now intended to do, without awaiting his reply, de- 
clared that my opinion was that, as the enemy had 
granted no quarter to the régiment of guards, the 
régiment of guards should grant them none in return, 
and, as his jurisdiction extended only to matters within 
the walls of the town, he at once said I might do as I 
liked. I, therefore, immediately despatched a drummer 
to Rocroi to let Montai know that my men would not, 


if possible, let one of his soldiers escape alive, if any 
should fall into their hands. On his enquiring the 
cause of my rage and learning it from the drummer, he 
declared that I was trying to pick a quarrel with him, 
as no reason whatever existed for my indignation. 
He was sorry, he added, that I wished in this way 
to waste life in cold blood ; but, as such was the case, 
he would give me back as good as I gave, when 
occasion offered. I pretended great anger, on the 
drummer's return, at this speech of Montal's, and said 
before everyone, that he did well to deny such a deed, 
because every bad action ought to be denied. Mean- 
while, I sent out some bodies of men who spared none 
of the enemy, whether they were in force or not, 
whenever they chanced to meet. I should hâve been 
sorry for this state of affairs to continue long, but, as 
there are certain times, at least, in war, when it is 
permissible to make some individuals perish to save a 
greater number, I waited patiently till I should find 
means to stop the state of disorder the country was in. 
In addition to thèse measures, I began to mix other 
soldiers with my own. Montai did not fail to gain 
information of this, and, indeed, his men who were 
constantly fighting with us could not hâve failed to 
perceive it. It was as easy for them to distinguish 
the soldiers of the Guard from those of other régi- 
ments, as it is to distinguish a lame man from 
a well-made one. The former were well dressed, 
because their captains were obliged to equip them, 
whereas the latter were as naked as one's hand. 
Be this as it may. Montai, who could be humane 
or brutal as the circumstances required, being 
desirous, if possible, to arrest the flow of blood which 


was commencing, and which appeared likely to last, 
wrote to the governor on the subject, so as to devise 
some remedy for such a state of affairs. 

The governor, who had orders to consult me about 
everything, let me know of this, and asked what his 
ansvver should be. I asked him to send v^^ord to 
Montai for an offîcer's passport, so that this matter 
might be settled in a friendly manner. Montai, who 
did not wish for anything better, at once sent back a 
passport with a blank space for the ofiîcer, in which 
the governor, by my instructions, inserted my own 
name. I at once mounted horse, so as to lose ,no 
time, and, having reached Rocroi that evening. Montai, 
who had never seen me, was very much astounded 
when, on reading the passport, he perceived that I 
was the individual who had inaugurated this campaign 
against him. Being a clever man, he immediately 
suspected that I had not come for nothing. He 
took care however, to keep his thoughts to himself, 
and proceeded to express, in very polite tones, his 
regret at my having believed one of my soldiers to 
his préjudice, adding, that I must perceive that it 
was I alone who was responsible for the blood which 
had been shed. However, as that was past, the best 
thing we could do would be to trust one another more, 
for the fact of our being enemies need not detract 
from our humanity nor our politeness; indeed, amongst 
honourable men, such a thing rather increased one's 
eagerness to gain the esteem of an adversary. 

His looks did not at ail coïncide with the suavity of 
his words, for his appearance was more like that 
of a satyr than a well-bred man. Nevertheless, as one 
must never judge people by appearances, and as I 


knew that he was a redoubtable antagonist, I kept a 
good watch over myself, lest I should let drop some 
Word which might give him a hold over me. I was 
aware that flattery overcame most people, and there- 
fore began to overwhelm him with it. I descanted 
upon his vigilance and his activity, and laid stress on 
the fact that M. le Prince had given him a signal 
mark of his appréciation by choosing him for the im- 
portant position he held, to the détriment of many 
others who followed his fortunes. AU this was but 
meaningless talk, but notwithstanding, I proceeded to 
keep up the same tone of flattery throughout our con- 
versation. We next proceeded to discuss the matter 
which had brought me, and as there were other 
negotiations to be debated by me on behalf of the 
Governor of Rhetel, we had several conférences 
together. I found means during thèse interviews to 
further compliment Montai, telling him that it was a 
pity for a man such as he to waste his youth by serving 
another than his King, and enquiringwhat he could hope 
for from such a course of conduct; for, besides his hon- 
our and duty being at stake, it was certain that the King 
could do more for him in a single day than M. le Prince 
in his whole lifetime. To this he was obliged to agrée, 
and, having ceased to discuss anything else, I next 
told him that, as he admitted the truth of my con- 
tentions, he would be neglecting both his fortunes and 
his honour, were he not to attempt to repair his faults 
by some conspicuous services. By this I meant him 
to understand that the giving up of Rocroi to his 
Majesty would be the service in question, but, as he 
desired to see what I was driving at, he listened very 
attentively without making any interruption. He 


assumed, however, a certain docile air, as if he was 
already half persuaded by my reasoning ; so, perceiving 
this, I did not stop half way after such a good begin- 
ning, and added that, though he might perhaps address 
himself to others who had more influence than myself 
with the Court, my connection with M. le Cardinal 
was close enough for me to be of use to him, were he 
willing to employ me. I should be doubly pleased to 
do my best, since, in addition to the service I should 
be doing the King, I should further hâve the satis- 
faction of obtaining his friendship. 

I do not know for what reason he allowed me to 
continue speaking without making any remark, but, as 
he could not always remain silent, he eventually said, 
intending to draw me out further, that my arguments 
were very good ones, but, after a step such as the one 
he had taken, no retreat was possible. The whole of 
his future was in the hands of M. le Prince, who had 
already done a great deal for him. He had promoted 
him from ensign to the governorship of such an 
important fortress as Rocroi. M. le Cardinal, who 
controUed ail Court favours, was not the man to do 
the same for him nor anything like it. He was as 
hard as a nail when there was a question of giving 
anything away, and there was no need to tell me this, 
since I had passed through his hands. My answer 
was that, though I would not deny that his Eminence 
bore the réputation of being miserly, yet, in spite of 
this, when his Majesty's interests were at stake, his 
behaviour was of quite a différent kind. True it was 
that there existed no chance of his bestowing a 
governorship upon him directly he should bave left 
the service of M. le Prince, for time was necessary 


to obliterate the remembrance of his having been 
a rebel. Upon this he interrupted me, and said that, 
since his défection would always be remembered, he 
thought me too just and disinterested to counsel him 
to accept an arrangement by which he would always 
be looked upon with suspicion. As he was esteemed 
by the party he was now siding with, he would do 
much better to remain with them than join one by 
which he would be always regarded as a traitor ; 
indeed, he must either lose his sensé or his honour to 
let himself be seduced by my words. 

Anyone else than I might perhaps hâve been puzzled 
how to meet his objections, for they were to a certain 
extent valid, but, as it is seldom that one who is 
fighting for justice and truth is stopped short, I pro- 
tested that, from ail appearance, he had not understood 
what I had wished to convey to him. When I had 
said that M. le Cardinal would not at once give him a 
governorship like the one he was holding, I had only 
meant that there would hâve to be an interval between 
his rébellion and his recompense. M. de Turenne, 
the Comte de Grandpré, Bussi Rabutin, and others, 
had ail recovered the King's favour, after having borne 
arms against him, though at first it had not been 
deemed opportune, owing to public opinion, to show 
any signs of reposing especial confidence in them. I 
gave, besides, several other reasons to support my 
contention. He appeared more than half convinced 
by thèse arguments, so, continuing in the same strain, 
he eventually asked me straight out what the Cardinal 
intended to do for him, were he to come over to his 
side. At that time, the King was no more spoken of 
than if he had never existed. His name indeed was 


affîxed to public documents, but only as a matter of 
form. The world was unaware that he would become 
one of the greatest Kings whom France ever boasted, 
and the most worthy to rule. Directly I perceived 
that Montai was reaching the point of making this 
enquiry, I deemed my negotiations to be going on 
well, but thinking it best to be more cautions than he, 
I determined not to put forward any offers yet, though 
I was empowered to do so, for I feared he might divine 
that thèse had been the express object of my coming. 
I replied, therefore, more reservedly than ever, that this 
was going beyond my powers. If he wished for any 
definite assurance, he must let me write to the Court. 
He made answer that I had done well to act so 
shrewdly, and he had expected nothing else from me, 
but nevertheless, it was totally useless in his case, 
because he saw through everything, and felt pretty 
sure that I had corne into Champagne expressly to win 
him over, and I ought to admit this, if I were as frank 
as himself, and it would serve my interests more than 
I thought. 

He failed to persuade me, though he held out such 
great inducements, for I knew that nothing was so 
dangerous as an enemy's advice; so, having maintained 
my reserve, he told me that I might tell him my secret, 
whenever I thought fit to do so. I asked him again 
whether he wished me to write or not and, on his 
making reply that I might do as I pleased, but it was 
unnecessary, I pondered over this somewhat ambiguous 
answer and determined to leave matters as they were. 

In the meanwhile, we agreed that quarter should 
be given by the soldiers on both sides, a thing which 
was mutually advantageous, and besides, I was already 


beginning to feel some qualms at having been the 
originator of the horrors which had taken place. 
After the discussion of some other matters, Montai 
pressed me to leave, for he feared that, were I to 
make a longer stay, he might become an object of 
suspicion to M. le Prince. I did not think fit to 
remain in défiance of his wishes and, telling him that 
I might return to settle the question of " contributions," 
which was under discussion between us, he rejoined 
that I must arrange matters so that that might be 
my last visit, because he would not see me twice 
more in his fortress. I thoroughiy understood from 
this answer that he was anxious to at once learn ail 
I had to say and, having informed M. le Cardinal 
of the whole of my negotiations, his Eminence sent 
me fresh instructions. The first offers he had made 
were to promise him a company in the Guards and 
twenty thousand silver crowns in ready money, on 
considération of the surrender of Rocroi. In the fresh 
ones, there were added twenty thousand more crowns 
and an abbey, together with an income of seven or 
eight thousand livres for one of his children, when 
old enough to hold it. My own opinion was that, 
though the company in the Guards and the forty 
thousand crowns were worth something, the promise 
of the abbey in the future was but one of the Cardinal's 

I found means to return and see Montai, as I had 
told him I would, on the pretext of settling the question 
of the *' contributions." He received me well enough to 
give me some hopes of his accepting or refusing my 
offers, according as they seemed advantageous or 
disadvantageous to himself; but, on mv letting him 
VOL. II ig 


know of the first proposai I had to make, he repulsed 
me so utterly that, though I had kept in reserve the 
abbey and the twenty thousand crowns, I felt at once 
convinced that I should do no good with him. I had 
thought it best to imitate those merchants who always 
keep their best goods for the last. Meanwhile, I 
sought a way to inform his Eminence how matters 
were proceeding. This was difficult enough, for I 
could neither despatch couriers nor receive any letters. 
Being in this pass, I played the part of a sick man 
and asked for a doctor. The physician sent me by 
Montai, either from ignorance or to hâve an opportunity 
of proving his own worth, told this governor that I 
was very ill. I complained of bleeding with violent 
internai pains — the truth of the one was self-evident 
but the other was more difficult, since what goes on 
inside one's body cannot be seen and my word had 
to be taken. Montai had allotted me a room at the 
house of a certain councillor, who was his friend and 
his spy. He used to report to him everything which 
happened in the town and he did this so cieverly as 
to excite the suspicions of no one. He was ordered 
to watch my illness and report how it went on. 

It must be understood that, for one or two years 
past, I had been subject to the same ailment^ which 
had so tortured the late Cardinal Richelieu ; for this 
reason, ail my linen looked just as if it had been 
plunged in the blood of a newly killed ox. This was 
a thing to thoroughly deceive this councillor, who was 
even more ignorant of médical than of légal matters, 
though indeed he knew little of anything. Accordingly, 
he no sooner learnt of this malady of mine, whilst 
feigning to visit me solely for compassionate reasons, 
I See Vol. I., page 182. 


than he sent to tell the governor that it would be a 
miracle if I ever recovered; consequently, having 
succeeded so well, my looks were the only thing which 
could betray me. I was very far from having the 
appearance of a sick man. I iooked much more like a 
confessor of nuns, who is carefully given a good bowl 
of soup in the morning, to keep his complexion clear. 
This being so, I had ail the shutters of my room closed, 
on the pretext that the daylight hurt my eyes, and, 
when I heard anyone entering, I began to cry out like 
some wretch being broken on the wheel, so that I 
might prevent anyone from staying with me. At last, 
after having played this part for two or three days, I 
sent Word to Montai that I should certainly die, unless 
I was allowed to send for a surgeon from Paris; that I 
knew of one who had already cured me of the same 
illness. Montai was neither a native of Le Mans, nor 
a Norman, nor a Gascon, people who pass for being 
the cleverest in the realm. He came from some district 
near the river Loire, but was none the less shrewd for 
ail that ; so, whether he suspected something, or was 
careful to take précautions, he had my valet arrested, 
after having given me permission to send him for a 
surgeon. This took place in a wood which he had to 
pass through, this side of the first village out of Rocroi. 
At first, the man thought that his captors, who were only 
three in number, were robbers, but was soon disabused 
of this idea, because of his being merely searched and 
not robbed. Montai apparently had some doubts as 
to whether I was ill or not, and was afraid that, if he 
had the man's money taken, it might delay his journey 
and thus cause my death. Be this as it may, nothing 
having been found upon my servant (for, suspecting 

ig — 2 


what would happen, I had told him with my own 
lips ail that I wanted the Cardinal to know), he 
was allowed to proceed on his way. After this, Montai 
believed me to be really ill, and, having corne in 
person to see me, as he had already done two or three 
times before, I told him in a faint voice that, if it was 
the will of God to call me from this world, I should 
die content, provided that he promised to return to the 
King's service. I must not trifle further with him; 
besides, there was no time for that. I was empowered 
to offer him up to forty thousand crowns with a Com- 
pany in the Guards. Besides this, an abbey should be 
given to one of his children. An offer like this was 
well worth considering, since he would obtain wealth 
and réputation at the same time as he would be 
enabled to recover his honour. 

This offer of mine was received by the governor in 
question in a way which showed me it was no more 
acceptable to him than the first one I had made had 
been. He soon convinced me of this by complaining 
of the small esteem in which his Eminence appeared 
to hold him. Far from treating him as he had the 
the Comte d'Augnon, to whom he had given a bâton 
of a Maréchal de France and five hundred and fifty 
thousand livres, he was offering him a paltry forty 
thousand crowns and a post of about the same value 
at most. Mayhap, he continued, he desired by this to 
show that Rocroi was not worth Brouage, nor a 
Montai as good as an Augnon;^ but his Eminence 
might be wrong, and, even were Rocroi not so valuable 

I Louis Foncault, Comte d'Augnon gave up Brouage in 1653. 
Brouage, opposite the island of Oléron, has now entirely lost its 
former importance as a seaport. 


as Brouage, he would wish him to understand that a 
Montai was the equal of fifty Augnons. He added, 
however, that he did not wish me to tell the Cardinal 
this, because he liked deeds much better than words, 
and would very shortly show him what it was to 
underestimate his capabilities, and this, it would soon 
be seen, was no mère gasconnade. This he said in a 
tone which showed me that this time he was perfectly 
sincère, and that he was speaking his real mind. 
I was vexed that my instructions did not extend any 
further, because I clearly perceived that that was ail 
now necessary to win him over. Meanwhile, as I had 
hopes of my valet bringing me good news from Paris, 
I made use of ail the best reasons I could find to soften 
him. I succeeded but ill, so angry was this governor, 
and, having left me mad with rage, as far as I could see, 
with the Cardinal, I awaited my man's arrivai with great 
impatience, to know whether I was to return to Rhetel 
or go on with my negotiations. I had not made direct 
application to his Eminence. I had told him to speak 
to Besmaux in the first instance, so as to discover if he 
was to présent himself to him. Besmaux had become 
captain of his guard, Champfleuri having retired dis- 
satisfied to a wretched house of his near Chevreuse, 
where he still is to-day. I had instructed my man as 
to what he was to say. He was first of ail to tell 
Besmaux that he had something to communicate to 
his Eminence on my account, were he willing to listen 
to him, and if this should not be the case, he himself 
was to tell him that the horse his Eminence had 
ordered me to buy would cost him much more than he 
thought, so it was for him to judge if he would take it 
at such a price, or give up ail thoughts of it. Were he 


however, to leave the matter to me, I would deal with 
his purse as with my own, My valet's instructions 
were to say no more than this in case of his speaking 
to the Cardinal, and he did not know the purport of 
this message. However, as he was no fool, he had a 
good idea that thèse words concealed some mystery, 
but what it exactly was he could never tell. My man 
spoke to Besmaux as he had been instructed, and the 
latter having announced his coming to his master, his 
Eminence at once ordered him to be brought into his 
study. He acted as I had bidden him, and the minister 
at once grasping the meaning of his words, commanded 
him to remain in Paris till further orders. 

Meanwhile, I still continued to play the sick man, 
whilst awaiting my valet's return with ail the impatience 
imaginable. Montai no longer came to see me, letting 
apparently his resentment against the master fall upon 
his emissary. Two days more than were necessary for 
my servant to return in having elapsed, I became 
puzzled as to the cause, which anyone might well hâve 
been, but it was something which could not be guessed. 
M. le Cardinal, being incensed against Montai for 
holding out for such high terms, had no sooner left my 
valet than he secretly informed M. le Prince that I was 
at Rocroi for the purpose of making a treaty with him, 
not a treaty such as had served as a pretext for my 
voyage, but one to make him false to his allegiance. The 
Prince de Condé, who justly had great faith in Montai, 
sent word to the major of the fortress, who was entirely 
devoted to him, not only to keep watch over his 
conduct, but further, to arrest everyone going to or 
returning from Paris, and to search them, notwith- 
standing any passports they might be carrying. If 



anything suspicious should be found on their persons, 
he was to send them straight to him, without letting 
anyone know. The major duly carried eut his orders, 
and would hâve placed me in a fine fix, as I will 
presently tell, had it not been that, perceiving that 
there was nothing to be done with Montai and the 
conséquent uselessness of tarrying longer at Rocroi, I 
made a sudden recovery, and, suspecting what was 
about to happen, from my knowledge of the Cardinal, 
went off without awaiting my valet's return. 

Montai, whose eyes were everywhere, had already 
perceived how matters lay, and wrote an account of my 
visit to M. le Prince, adding that he had not done so 
before, because the matter seemed too trifling to trouble 
him with. However, as I had eventually proposed to 
him a company in the Guards, forty thousand crowns, 
and an abbey for his children, in considération of the 
surrender of his fortress to his Majesty, he thought it 
his duty to let him know. The Prince de Condé deemed 
this news to hâve come rather late in the day, and was 
not too well pleased, thinking that it was sent him only 
because no arrangement had been come to between us, 
but in spite of this, he dared not show what he thought, 
from fear of hurrying on the treaty with the Court. 
Accordingly, he contented himself with sending word 
to Montai that he had known of ail this for some time 
past, but had always felt sure that the Cardinal was 
wasting his time, a reply which surprised the governor. 
He concluded that this was some trick of the Cardinal's 
to make him an object of suspicion, and fearing lest he 
might send some spy into his fortress with letters 
addressed to me, as if I were still there, he adopted ail 
possible means to prevent them falling into his major's 


hands. With this end in view, he set one of his friends, 
Mauvilli by name, to work, with orders not to re-enter 
Rocroi without having dispelled his fears. Mauvilli, 
who was a determined man, chose nine or ten soldiers 
as brave as himself, and having provisioned them for 
four or five days, prepared to carry out his orders. 
However, they had not to stay away as long as that; 
for the Cardinal, having deemed that, after his warning, 
M. le Prince would not fail to take his measures, sent 
off my valet with a packet addressed to me, hoping he 
might fall into an ambuscade. As he had reason to 
believe that I had gone back to Rhetel, he was afraid 
lest my man should learn of my return on his way and 
not proceed to Rocroi, so he sent off another courier 
three hours before his departure from Paris, to wait for 
him at a hostelry at Fismes, at which the post made 
a hait. This courier pretended to my valet when he 
arrived, that he was the commander of a village two 
leagues from Rocroi, and after having learnt that he 
was my servant, declared himself delighted at falling 
in with him, because he had a letter to give me from 
M. le Cardinal, which had been in his keeping for three 
days past ; he would therefore beg him to take charge of 
it, when he should proceed on his way. 

My valet believed ail this, and, the sham commander 
having prevented him from discovering if I had returned 
to Rhetel or not, set out with both letters concealed in 
one of the flaps of his saddle, without the slightest idea 
of the trouble in store for him. Hardly, however, had 
he gone another league when he fell into the hands of 
Mauvilli, who arrested him with his postillion. The 
poor man wanted to show the passport given him by 
Montai, but Mauvilli took not the least notice of it, 


and led him into a neighbouring wood. Both the 

postillion and my man thought their last hour had 

corne, and that they had fallen into the hands of 

robbers, but they changed their minds when they per- 

ceived that, after having been searched without their 

money being taken, search was made everywhere for 

some letter. Mauvilli, seeing the extrême state of 

agitation my valet was in (for he feared the letters 

being found), began to threaten to kill him if he did 

not point out where they lay hid. He had looked 

everywhere in vain, and had not as yet thought of 

looking in the saddle. Eventually, however, having 

ordered the two horses to be unsaddled, my valet con- 

fessed everything. Directly he saw Mauvilli beginning 

to rip the flaps open with his knife, he threw himself on 

his knees before him. Mauvilli had both men bound 

to trees, and having taken thèse letters to Montai, this 

governor found them to be in cipher, and had them 

deciphered by Mauvilli himself, who was very skilled 

in such matters. The first letter was one from the 

Cardinal, urging him to come to terms quickly for his 

own sake, and was written for the purpose of falling 

into the hands of M. le Prince. The second was for 

me and promised me great things, did I succeed in 

that which I had begun so well. 

It is impossible to describe Montal's rage at the sight 
of thèse two letters; he sent Mauvilli back to the wood 
with orders to release the postillion and bring my valet 
into the town. He had been confined in a dungeon, 
and had I been in his hands Montai would, I think, hâve 
served me the same way, so enraged was he. 

After some délibération, it was determined that my 
valet should be sent to M. le Prince and, under the 


escort of Mauvilli, he was taken across the Ardennes 
beyond Philippeville to Namur ; however, the Prince de 
Condé not being there, Mauvilli was obliged to proceed 
to Brussels. M. le Prince expressed bis pleasure with 
Montai for the course of action he had taken, and 
declared tbat nothing could bave more clearly demon- 
strated bis innocence. He would, he said, take 
measures to extract the truth from the lips of the 
prisoner, who might not prove so obstinate wben about 
to be banged. However it was not necessary to put this 
man to the torture, for, directly M. le Prince interro- 
gated him, he made a clean breast of everything, and 
was near being allowed to go scot free, had it not been 
urged that, were this valet released, it would prove an 
incentive to spying. The Prince de Condé, though 
he usually cared as little for a man's life as if he were 
not bis fellow créature, was inclined in this instance 
towards clemency, but, yielding eventually to the advice 
given him, he sent back the valet to Montai, so that 
the latter might act as he thought fit. The governor 
in question deemed that bis honour demanded the 
hanging of the prisoner, so, having carried out this 
exécution in full daylight in the présence of ail bis 
garrison, he no longer felt afraid of this poor wretch 
saying anything against him, now that he had gone to 
another world. 

I learned this news in Paris, to which place I had 
thought it best to return when nothing more was to be 
done at Rhetel. I was much grieved, knowing that I 
had been the cause of this poor man's death, but, not 
being able to mend matters, I had prayers offered for 
bis soûl, which was ail which could now be done for 
him. I found that the Cardinal had completed the 


marriage of his nièce with M. le Prince de Conti after 
having corne across many obstacles both from M. le 
Prince himself and from Rome. M. le Cardinal had 
not yet abandoned his idea of obtaining the company 
of Musketeers for one of his nephevvs ; the eldest had 
died two years before. His Eminence had wept like a 
woman, and could even now not keep the tears out of 
his eyes when he spoke of it. Although the younger 
one was not so fitted for the career of arms as his 
brother, as he hoped that he might become a living 
proof of the proverb which says, "that practice 
makes perfect," he declared one day, that he was so 
pleased with me that, though I had not been a captain 
in the Guards for long, he did not intend me to grow 
old in such a position. He wished to do something 
more for me, and as I was a friend of M. de Treville's, 
I should try and get him to consent to the company of 
Musketeers being re-established for someoneelse to com- 
mand, so that the eldest of his nephews might obtain 
it. As the latter was still a youth, he could not take 
up such a post just yet, so the future sub-lieutenant 
would be its master, and he had chosen me to occupy 
that position. 

I was the more delighted at this scheme, because I 
had a worse opinion of his nephew than his Eminence. 
He was idle and lazy beyond belief, and liked only 
loafing and carousing. He was not stupid however, 
nor badly built, except for his legs, which were too big. 
My own interests being concerned, I arranged to dine 
with Treville before much time had passed, so as to 
try and make him more amenable than he had pre- 
viously been. He was in his house at Grenelle, which 
he had bought specially to use as a pleasure resort. 


It was really but a nice farm, and entirely devoid of 
luxury. However, its being close to Paris made up for 
everything to him. On my first visit, a good many 
people were there ; so, not having been able to discuss 
matters, I returned at the end of the week. I told 
Treville that, as he was now quite used to living away 
from the Court, the loss of his post ought not to trouble 
him at ail; he should however try and obtain some 
compensation for it. His children were too young for 
him ever to hope to see them at the head of the 
Musketeers, but still something might be arranged. 
I knew for certain that M. le Cardinal would listen to 
any reasonable propositions, and, if he would confide 
matters to me, he might rely on my doing well. 

M. de Treville was unlike anyone else. My words 
were enough to make him think that M. le Cardinal 
had instructed me to speak to him. He made reply 
that his opinion of my friendship for him had greatly 
lessened, by reason of my thus attempting to be 
mysterious with him, and, when I sought to justify 
myself, would hâve nothing more to say to me than if 
I had been a Suisse ! We then separated mutually 
irritated with one another. It was easy to perceive 
which of us two was in the wrong, but as it is rare 
that justice is done, we turned the cold shoulder upon 
one another, from that day forth, till such time 
as M. de Treville thought fit to abate his irritation 
against me. 

It was just about this time that the King resolved to 
strip M. le Prince of a post he had formerly bestowed 
upon him as a recompense for his services. Stenai, 
Dun and Jamets, which had always belonged to the 
Duc de Lorraine, had been conquered by him, and 


had formed part of the reward given him by the Court, 
and measures were now adopted with a view to 
bringing thèse places under the domination of his 

During the course of thèse opérations, the Vicomte 
de Turenne displayed such great qualities that the 
Court bestowed upon him the post of colonel-general 
of cavalry, which was vacant by the death of the Duc 
de Joyeuse. A thousand people had wanted to obtain 
it, who were totally unworthy of holding such a com- 
mand. Bussi Rabutin had even put in his claim, 
though his only credentials lay in having purchased the 
post of Maistre de Camp Général of cavalry. Indeed, 
no one could tell how he had attained his présent 
position. He had borne arms against the King after 
the imprisonment of the Prince de Condé, and if he had 
desisted from doing so, it had been because the Prince 
himself had not appeared to value his services 
sufficiently to make him wish to follow his fortunes 
any longer. He had therefore returned to his allegiance 
in spite of himself, so he was not, as may be imagined, 
held in any great esteem as a servant of the King. 
Be this as it may, his conceit, which had already caused 
him to buy a post beyond his capacity, making him 
think that he had a right to the one the Duc de 
Joyeuse had held, not only did he ask for it as I hâve 
just described, but further, began to sulk when he saw 
that the Court took no notice of his demands. He did 
not however dare to show his resentment, but, as the 
Vicomte de Turenne understood fighting better than 
making fine speeches, he determined to direct his 
attacks against him. The gênerai in question had had 
some love affairs. This was a passion which was 


natural to him like other people, though it scemed to 
suit him ill enough. He was always the dupe of ail 
his mistresses, and indeed, having a short time back 
tried to make love to a certain princess, she had jeered 
at him so much, that he had been very much hurt — a 
circumstance which had made him slander her with the 
resuit of entangling him with her relatives. 

Anyhow, either because he perceived himself unlucky 
in love, or because, once in one's life, it is as it were 
impossible to stop oneself from committing the folly 
of marrying, he had just married Mademoiselle de la 
Force, the only daughter of the maréchal of that name. 
She was a very good match both in birth, property, 
and appearance, nor was she one of those Court 
coquettes, whom it is so dangerous to burden oneself 
with. She had been brought up under the wing of 
her father and mother, who were both good Huguenots, 
and, as people of that faith do not willingly let their 
children do what we often allow ours to do, everyone 
who wanted a virtuous wife cast their eyes upon her, 
to join her fortune with their own. The sister of the 
Vicomte de Turenne had thought of Mademoiselle de 
la Force for her son, who is to-day Duc de Duras, but, 
having let slip a word on the subject to her br other, 
she by so doing gave him the idea of taking for himself 
what she wanted for her own son. Be this as it may. 
Madame de Duras and her son, having not been able 
to keep from complaining, the one of her brother, the 
other of his uncle, Bussi, hearing of this, took occasion 
to attack the Vicomte de Turenne. The latter heard 
of thèse attacks, and was so displeased that he spoke 
very strongly to him on the subject. Bussi took the 
course of denying everything, and the Vicomte de 


Turenne, who understood no joking and well knew the 
State of affairs, replied that he was satisfied, since he 
disclaimed to his face what he had said behind his 
back, but for himself, were he ever to circulate any 
stories of people, he would support them even at the 
cost of his Hfe. One would hâve thought that, after 
this lesson from the gênerai, Bussi Rabutin would no 
longer hâve dared to do anything further of the same 
kind, but nevertheless, he attempted to meddle with 
military matters, so as to annoy M. de Turenne. The 
latter, however, who was of such a modest disposition, 
that one would never hâve thought, to look at him, that 
he was commander-in-chief of the army of the first 
Crown in the universe, left the settlement of this affair 
to the Court, and Bussi had no cause to be pleased 
with its décision. His claims were set aside, so much 
so that, perceiving himself chaffed on ail sides, he tried 
to save himself by the slanders which he still secretly 
continued to circulate. 


HE campaign of 1654 being ended, M. le 
Cardinal sent me once again into England 
incognito, so that I might give him an exact 
report as to the state of affairs in that country. 
Although there were'but a hundred leagues 
between Paris and the capital of that realm, one 
would hâve said there were ten thousand, so 
différent were the reports which came to hand. Some 
insisted that Cromwell was looked upon only as a 
usurper, and was so hated by the populace, that he 
kept his position by violence and cruelty alone. Others, 
on the contrary, declared that he was adored to such 
an extent that there was no one in the three kingdoms 
who would not willingly hâve sacrificed himself for 
his sake. It was important for his Eminence to know 
for certain which of thèse two parties spoke the truth. 
This was nevertheless not so much because of affairs 
of State, as on account of his own private matters. 
Indeed, I think that thèse latter affected him far more 
than anything else, and as, since M. le Prince had 
gone away, he had found means to appease the Parle- 
ment by bestowing pensions or faveurs upon those of 
its members who were most influential, he now saw 


nothing further in the way of his schémas. He had 
got such ideas into his head about his nièces, that he 
intended to create as many new sovereigns as there 
remained to him nièces to marry ! At ail events, the 
Crown of England seeming to him not one of the most 
insignificant of those which might fall on anyone's 
head, he was anxious to know to whom he should 
offer a nièce — to the King of England, or to a son of 
Cromwell ? His Eminence had, besides, a far more 
ridiculous fancy than this. I hâve it on good authority, 
and know it from the Bishop of Fréjus, his confidant. 
He proposed, in the event of succeeding in making a 
Queen of England of the girl, to soon after make 
another nièce Queen of France. He also told the 
prelate in question, as I hâve heard further from him, 
that, this once done, a plank would hâve been laid down 
which would make him speak much more boldly to his 
Majesty. He would hâve no scruple about proposing 
that he should marry the sister of a queen, and the 
King himself could hâve none, since another would 
hâve shown him the way. Indeed, from that day forth, 
he began to look upon ail the nobles of the realm as 
unworthy of being allied to him. He even became 
vexed at having bestowed a nièce upon the Duc de 
Mercœur, deeming that, when one had hopes of marry- 
ing her sisters to two such great kings as were those 
of France and England, the son of a bastard was too 
insignificant to be connected with. 

His Eminence showed no knowledge of the King 
when he thought him capable of such baseness. Never 
had prince finer sentiments than he ! However, what 
had originated this idea of his was, that he had 
observed that the Queen of England, an aunt of his 
VOL. II 20 


Majesty, had not herself scrupled to hâve proposais 
made for the marriage of her son with the eldest of the 
Mancinis yet unmarried. She had nevertheless, felt 
much répugnance to doing this, still retaining a royal 
heart in her misfortunes, and one which secretly re- 
proached her with this alliance, being in no way suited 
to the grandeur of her rank ; but, as she was surrounded 
by people who sought but to pay court to the minister, 
so as to obtain some of his favours, she had let herself 
be brought to believe them, the more so on account of 
their having maintained that, otherwise, her son would 
never remount his throne. As this affair had been 
dragging on for a long time, but was proceeding now 
more briskly than ever, his Eminence wished me to set 
out at once for England, so that he might take the 
necessary measures according to what I should report 
on my return. He made me come into his study on 
the eve of my departure, and there said everything to 
me which he thought likely to cause me to be of use to 
him. Accordingly, as one always measures others by 
one's own standard, and as nothing affected him like 
avarice, he told me that this matter concerned me as 
much as himself, because great benefit might accrue to 
me through it. I must then take good care not to be 
deceived. He intended, continued he, to hâve me 
given the first post in the household of his nièce, 
directly she should become Queen, from which I might 
imagine how greatly my interests lay in securing a 
throne for her. 

This minister apparently thought, from his way of 
talking, that I was a man to be satisfied with chimeras. 
I knew, better than he had an}' idea of, how England 
was governed. I knew, I repeat, that even were he to 


succeed in his plans, it would not hâve been in his 
power to appoint any officer for his nièce. The English 
are a little toc jealous of strangers to allow such a 
thing. However, as it was not my own interests which 
made me set out, I made reply that it was unnecessary 
for him to hold out any rewards to me, for I was 
entirely devoted to him, and would before longprove it, 
and besides, I was born a good Frenchman, and, did it 
rest only with me to obtain the greatest fortune in the 
world amongst foreigners, I would not renounce my 
own country. I preferred to remain plain captain in 
the Guards there than colonel of Guards anywhere 
else, and especially in a country where the people were 
wont, as their history taught me, to dethrone their 
kings when the fancy seized them. M. le Cardinal 
rejoined that, if I set out with such ideas, I ran great 
•risk of bringing back but bad news. With such 
sentiments I could hâve no great esteem for Cromwell, 
and should be too apt to think he was hated, because I 
disHked him myself. Meanwhile, he wanted to make 
me realise that, if ail usurpers were to be hated, my 
King would come first. The descendants of Hugh 
Capet, from whom he sprang, had usurped the Crown 
of France from those of Charlemagne, to whom it 
legitimately belonged. They, in turn, had done the 
same thing for the Merovingians, so, according to my 
ideas, it was neither to the Carlovingians nor the 
Capetians that our Crown by right belonged. I must 
know, however, that what at first appeared tyrannical 
became just in the sequel, for time rectified ail things, 
and so, with a little patience, a usurper and even a 
tyrant became a legitimate King. He would, there- 
fore, hâve me like Cromwell if the English liked him, 

20 — 2 


and hâte him if they hated him. This was the touch- 
stone I must make use of to discover if he reigned 
over them legitimately, for on this alone did it dépend 
to know if his posterity should succeed him or not, 
just as our kings had succeeded their fathers. 

I thought this line of thought wonderful and well 
worthy of him. Nevertheless, Cromwell was not yet 
a king, though he would much hâve liked to hâve been 
one, and ail he had been able to effect was to hâve 
himself declared Protector of the three Kingdoms. Be 
this as it may, after having heard this speech of the 
Cardinal's, I would not contradict him. On the con- 
trary, I assured him that I hated Cromwell less as 
an individual than ail his countrymen in gênerai. I 
accordingly set out for England for the third time, 
with orders not to show myseJf before our ambassador. 
At that time^ M. de Bordeaux, son of M. de Bordeaux, 
Intendant des Finances, occupied this position. He 
was a little man, very vain, and one who was accus- 
tomed to say (so conceited was he) that there was not 
a virtuous woman in the world. Ail his success, how- 
ever, in that country was limited to having debauched 
the daughter of an officer of the late King, with whom 
he kept up an intimacy, which was scandalous enough 
for an ambassador. After having married her off to 
one of his relations, who was a young fool, and whose 
only bravery lay in his sword, he had sent him back to 
France and kept a sort of household with his wife. 

^ The position of the French Ambassador in London at this 
time was one of great difficulty, and Hume, in his " History of the 
House of Stuart," pays a tribute to his patience. In the Treaty, 
which was signed after long negotiation, the Protector's name 
was inserted before the French King'sinthat copy whichremained 
in England. See " Thurloe," vol. vi, p. ii6. 


He drank f.nd ate with her, and ail the différence there 
was between his way of life and that he might hâve 
led with a wife was that they did not live together. 
The Cardinal knew of this fine life, which made respect- 
able folks talk, for they did not think, and they were 
quite right, that it at ail suited a man in his position. 
However, much did his Eminence care for that, pro- 
vided he did not ask for any money for his salary. He 
had adopted the course of giving none to some 
ambassadors, and would tell them, when they asked 
for it, that they did not deserve what he did for them, 
for there were many people in the Kingdom who would 
consider themselves too lucky to be spending ail their 
money, provided they occupied such a position as the 
one he had bestowed upon them. Their name, he 
added, would go down in history, instead of which it 
would hâve remained enveloped in darkness and dust, 
unless he had been good enough to bring it forth. 

He was right to speak in this way of M. de Bordeaux, 
who was a nobody, and whose father had founded the 
fortunes of his house. But, as he was wont to say the 
same about people of distinction and rank like 
M. d'Argenson, who was Ambassador at Venice, it 
was easy to perceive that it was avarice alone which 
inspired such speeches. Nevertheless, as nothing is so 
pernicious as an evil example, it happened that M. de 
Brienne, who was not a conjuror, though he occupied 
a position which required unusual gifts (since it lay 
with him to speak and write letters to the ambassa- 
dors), it happened, I repeat, that he formed such a 
poor estimate of M. d'Argenson, though a more capable 
man than himself, that on his death several packets of 
letters from that Excellency were found amongst his 


papers which he had never troubled to open ! This 
was how the King was served at that time. There 
was as minister a man who did not even pay am- 
bassadors, who ought, nevertheless, to be paid more 
highly and more regularly than others, since, whatever 
their stipend may be, none escape ruining themselves 
in that kind of position. This, I repeat, is how the 
affairs of the King were conducted ! A minister of 
such a kind, and a Secretary of State for Foreign 
Affairs so neglectful as not to open the despatches of 
ambassadors. It is, as it were, incredible ; so much so 
that it seems a kind of miracle how the Kingdom, with 
so many formidable enemies without, and servants of 
this sort within, has been able to préserve itself in the 
glorious position in which we see it at this day. 

Be this as it may, M. de Bordeaux being a man of 
this kind, I could easily hâve avoided him, since I 
should only hâve had to keep away from where his 
mistress (in whose house he was every hour and 
minute) lived, had it not been that, when one least 
expects them, unavoidable things happen. Some days 
after setting foot in England, I went in the evening to 
a merchant's, who sold Indian stuffs. I wanted to buy 
a dress for a lady of Paris, to whom I had promised to 
send one from England. My weakness and lack of 
discrétion had been the cause of the promise. As I 
was fond of her, and from my disposition could never 
do without a mistress, she had pressed me so hard to 
say where I was going, after I had told her that I 
should be away for a month or more mayhap, that, 
after having at first tried to keep my destination secret, 
I had not eventually been able to help telling her. 
She had then begged me to send her this dress, and, as 


I have always been a man of my word, I believe that 
it vvas the day after my arrivai that I went to the 
merchant's I have mentioned. On my entry there was 
no one of importance in the shop, but a moment later 
I perceived a magnificently dressed lady of great beauty 
make her appearance. She was, besides, of very con- 
sidérable height indeed, so much so that it rather 
spoiled than improved her. However, as, when a face 
is pleasing, nothing else matters to one, I delayed my 
bargaining, so as to have the pleasure of looking longer 
at her. She asked for the material for an entire dress, 
and, judging from the livery of her servant, which was 
very fine, and the respect paid her by the merchant, 
that she must be a person of rank, I fell in love with 
her in a moment. 

The fact of the lady's continuing to ask for finer 
stuffs, none of those shown her proving rich enough, 
gave so much employment to the shopmen, that I was 
not much pressed to buy what I was bargaining for. I 
could thus look at her at my ease, and falling more 
and more in love every minute, my eyes were so fixed 
upon her, that she had no trouble in divining what was 
passing in my heart. This made her eye me the more 
attentively, and though I was not dressed to advantage, 
she nevertheless thought me well made, as she herself 
told me some days later. She at once concluded that 
I was a foreigner and even a Frenchman, and having a 
moment later whispered in the shopwoman's ear, told 
her to find out from me. I could never have guessed 
she was saying this, for she had taken good care to 
turn her eyes away from me .first and cast them else- 
where. She even told the woman to act discreetly so 
that I might suspect nothing. The shopwoman, who 


did not belie the réputation which nearly ail her 
countrywomen hâve of being very shrewd, exactly 
followed her instructions, indeed, so cleverly did she 
proceed, that one would hâve had to hâve been very 
sharp to detect her intention. She begged my pardon 
for not attending to me as quickly as she might hâve 
wished, and was indeed requisite for one of her calling. 
The entry of this lady was the cause; but, for two 
reasons which she thoroughly relied upon, she hoped 
I would forgive her. One was, that no Cavaliers like 
myself would ever be annoyed at ladies being served 
first, especially when as beautiful as this lady, the 
other, that being a Frenchman, as she believed, I 
excelled the men of ail other nations in politeness and 
courtesy, especially towards everyone of her sex. 

If there was anything in this speech of hers to betray 
her, it was at most its being made by an Englishwoman 
to a Frenchman, the ladies of that country not being 
too fond of us. For, whatever other people may say 
about it, I for my part know that, in common with ail 
the men of that nation, though liking gallantry as much 
as any women in the world, they are secretly jealous 
of us. Nevertheless, her position of shopwoman, which 
entailed her flattering everyone, having banished any 
suspicions I might hâve had, I admitted not only that 
I was a Frenchman, but further that she could serve 
me in no better way than by waiting upon the lady with- 
out paying any attention to me. Nor did I forget, as 
can easily be imagined without my saying so, to drop 
a Word about the beauty of the lady. The lady herself 
then spoke, telling me that from ail appearance I did 
not wish to give the lie to the shopwoman about what 
she had said in favour of my nation. A Frencb, 


Swedish, or Danish woman would hâve been more 
restrained in her talk, and, if possessed of the slightest 
knowledge of life, would hâve pretended not to hâve 
paid the least attention to what had been said. I say 
nothing of Spanish and Itahan women, who are even 
more circumspect still and better actresses than the 
others. Be this as it may, her answer having given 
me a chance of paying her a formai compliment, my 
words were no more unpleasant to her than my appear- 
ance had been. I perceived this plainly enough, for she 
at once told me to come and help the merchant cheat 
her, and, when a bargain was struck, she in turn would 
help me to complète mine, always provided that I 
should first tell her for whom it was that I wanted to 
buy the stuff for whieh I was now bargaining. 

I was not vexed at her curiosity, flattering myself, as 
I had none too bad an opinion of my own merits (in 
which I resembled M. de Bordeaux), that mayhap a 
little jealousy inspired her question. I did not how- 
ever answer her frankly, declaring that the stuff was 
intended for a sister of mine in Gascony. The lady 
enquired if she was pretty, and upon my answering no 
and that ail I would say was, that we were supposed 
to be 80 much alike that our dresses alone distinguished 
us, she rejoined that, if this was so, she did not pity her 
husband. I rejoined that my sister was unmarried 
and but seventeen years old, upon which she said that 
she must then hâve many lovers, and that I seemed to 
be forgetting a thing which was of great importance. 
I was about to be the cause, by further enhancing her 
beauty with the stuff I was going to send her, of a 
number of deaths in my province, and she was glad to 
warn me of it, lest I should be answerable to Heaven for 


them. I must look to it, for after her warning there 
would be no excuse to be found for me. 

Nothing could hâve been more charming than this 
speech, especially after my having said that we were 
so alike. But as it was made by an Englishwoman, 
and the women of that nation are wont to say a 
number of things which other people would not say, I 
did not feel unduly elated, but determined to judge of 
my happiness or misery by what should take place 
later on. Meanwhile, after the lady had concluded 
the bargain and helped me to finish mine, as she had 
promised, she allowed me to extend my hand to help 
her get into the carriage which had brought her. I 
thought I should find a magnificent one at the shop 
door, such as the English hâve always had up to now, 
but instead of the triumphal car which I expected I 
found only what is called a hackney^ coach in that 
country. A hackney coach is a hired carriage, not 
like those which we hâve in France, which are clean 
enough and which we call carosses de remise, but a 
wretched cab, such as those we see to-day on the Place 
du Palais Royale, or before the Église des Grands 
Augustins. This surprised me, for although men of 
rank in England do not scruple to go in thèse kind 
of vehicles, this is not the case with the ladies, who 
are more particular. It would hâve almost made me 
form a strange opinion of this woman, had I been in 
France, for, knowing that there is nothing so like a 
person of rank as certain courtesans, I should hâve 
half believed her to hâve been one. I should indeed not 
hâve known what to say, so suspicions did things look, 

I This is the earliest known mention of a hackney coach; 
see " Notes and Queries" for November igth, 1898, 


had I not noticed the shopman pay her unusual défér- 
ence. Be this as it may, wanting to leave the lady 
after having put her into the carriage, I was thoroughly 
astounded by her bidding me get in with her. Having 
done her bidding, she told me that she wished me to 
do her a service. I thought that she was about to ask 
me without ceremony for that which a woman usually 
requires when very hard pressed, but it was for some- 
thing quite différent. She declared that she wanted 
me to come and visit her father, and tell him that I had 
seen her husband in France, and that he had given me 
a positive assurance that he would come and join her 
at the end of April. It was now January, and seeing 
me completely mystified, the lady went on to say that 
everyone was not like myself, who had been so polite. She 
had been married against her father's will to a French- 
man, who had left her because he had found her poorer 
than he had expected before marriage. 

As it happened, this lady chanced to be the mistress 
of M. de Bordeaux, but she took good care to make 
no mention whatever of him, and I for my part was 
totally ignorant that such was the case. Nevertheless, 
I formed the opinion that, if the Frenchman had gone 
away, it had been for some other reason than the one 
she was giving. I knew that England was just as full 
of horned cattle as France, and that, though there were 
very fine bulls and cows there, there were other animais 
besides, which were in no wise less magnificent. 

This thought rather cooled my ardour. If I loved 
ladies to distraction, adventuresses, amongst whom I 
already included this woman, had no charm for me. I 
deemed them ail as crafty as the Devil, in which I was 
not far wrong. I looked upon them as debauched 


créatures, and as such, unworthy of the attachment of 
an honourable man. Nor was I of a disposition ever 
to run the same risk for them as did one day the Duc 
de Bellegarde, to avoid being found by Henri le Grand 
with la belle Gabrielle, when he took the trouble to 
jump out of the window into the garden of the Hôtel 
de Vendôme. Women of this kind do not deserve that 
people should break their necks on their account. 
One can do no more for a pretty lady who has com- 
merce only with her husband ; indeed I would not jump 
down a foot for any of them. In spite of this, I am 
ignorant why I draw such a distinction between the 
two classes. The woman who has but her husband 
must be just the same as she who has one gallant only. 
Both hâve but a single man, and if the matter is care- 
fully thought over, it seems as if the one should be 
blamed no more than the other by a lover, for both are 
equally unfaithful. Indeed, the woman who wants a 
gallant as well as a husband seems to me the more 
guilty of the two. She has sworn fidelity before 
Heaven, and is breaking her oath, whilst the other has 
but sworn it in the gutter or behind her bed-curtains. 
Besides, the God of Love, whom she has invoked as 
witness, is quite used to see ail the promises made 
him broken, for the streets are chock-fuU of unfaithful 
swains and their loves. Be this as it may, a mistress 
is less unfaithful than a wife, and so, less to be 

However, to be serious — the lady having thoroughly 
instructed me whilst we drove along — in due course we 
reached her father's house. I found him to be a worthy 
gentleman, but a little rough. He listened to what 
I had to say, and made reply that he believed my story, 


because I looked as if I belonged to the family of the 
absent husband. I did not at first understand his 
meaning, and answered that I had not the honour in 
question. *' If you are not the relative of my son-in-law," 
rejoined he, " you are closely related to my daughter, 
and, when ail is said and done, that is pretty much the 
same thing." By this I understood him to mean that I 
was quite able to take the husband's place during his 
absence. My position now appeared somewhat diffi- 
cult. He had two big boys by his side who were like 
regular " white rocks." Both looked as if they had sent 
as many English into the next world as the English 
had Frenchmen. I even thought that they would not 
hâve had more scruple about attacking a person from 
behind his back than the English sometimes had about 
being two against one. Mayhap I was wrong, since 
people must never be judged by appearances. Besides, 
even had the Duke of York been their patron, as 
Monsieur was of the French, he might not hâve perhaps 
been able, as the latter was, to save them firom the 

Be this as it may, seeing that I must carefully weigh 
my words, I told the father that I was no relative of 
either husband or wife, the latter of whom indeed I had 
met for the first time but two hours ago. He repHed, 
as roughly as before, that that was of no conséquence, 
for she was a good girl, and a short or long acquaint- 
ance with her made no différence. Her appetite was 
so keen, added he, that she would hâve deemed it an 
injustice to herself to refuse anybody. This was a 
thing for me to look to, for he should be sorry that 
I should be deceived. 

The poor woman was very confused at hearing him 


speak thus, and would hâve given agood deal to be able 
to hâve begun matters ail over again. Nevertheless, she 
kept winking at me in a w^ay I did not understand. 
Indeed, I was in despair at her doing so, being afraid 
of the father and sons perceiving it and picking a 
quarrel with me. She said not one v^ord however, 
being apparently afraid of a thrashing, for there was 
no joking with the man nor his children. They were 
honourable folk and could not bear the lady's connec- 
tion with the ambassador. Meanwhile, I awaited the 
end of this scène with some appréhension. I was 
wishing myself far away, when the brothers enquired 
how I knew the husband of their sister, and according 
to the instructions she had given me, I replied that I 
came from the same neighbourhood and had stayed at 
the same hostelry with him in Paris before setting out. 
They at once began to abuse their brother-in-law, and 
cautioned me against believing a word of what he might 
hâve told me, adding, that he never spoke the truth, 
and, were ail Frenchmen like him, there would be no 
cause for astonishment at their being hated in a 
thousand places as they were. As, however, I had 
never seen their brother-in-law, I cannot say whether 
they spoke truth or falsehood. 

They continued in the same strain for some time, 
the old man occasionally joining in thèse attacks on 
his son-in-law. Meanwhile, the lady seized the oppor- 
tunity to gently withdraw. I was much aetonished to 
find her gone, and, had I been in France, should 
certainly hâve thought that ail this was but a plot 
got up to assassinate me. However, as the English, 
cruel as they may be, are not given to those kind of 
things which so often happen in Paris, and which dis- 


honour our nation, I was somewhat reassured, for I 
saw nothing in either the father or the sons to cause 
me to fear a trap. At length, when they had had their 
say without any contradiction from myself, I thought 
the time had corne for me to départ. I was afraid of 
nothing except being detained, but, my appréhension 
proving groundless, I got into the street without 
further ado. Nevertheless, I was curious enough to 
occasionally cast a glance behind me to see if I was 
followed, and, perceiving a girl hurrying along with 
her eyes directed at me, I got into a doorway to let 
her pass, in case she might be looking for someone else. 
However, she began to slacken her speed, and, coming 
up to me, I awaited her with a stout heart, curious as 
to how ail this might end. 

I had not been deceived, for she had come from the 
lady who awaited me four paces away, and had, so the 
girl said, something to say to me which it would not 
displease me to hear. I was near saying that I had no 
answer to give to this, but, considering that this would 
be acting rudely, I bade the girl lead the way and 
I would follow. She stopped at a certain door and 
wished me to enter the house, in which she declared 
her mistress was awaiting me. Having, however, little 
désire to be once more shut up, I somewhat ungallantly 
told the maid to ask her mistress to come down, as a 
sprain prevented my going any further. At the same 
time, I feigned lameness, and the girl, who was none 
too sharp, believing my story, did as I had told her. 
The lady eventually appeared, and tried to make me 
crédit that what her father had said was but caused by 
the effects of drink. He was, she added, constantly 
drunk, and when in that state had no idea what he 


was doing or saying, so much so that people who knew 
him paid no attention to his words. In short, it was 
net her fault that I did net attribute everything I had 
heard to the effects of Bacchus, but, net being so 
foolish as she thought, I formed my own opinion 
without saying anything rude to her. In the mean- 
time, as my ardour seemed to hâve cooled since I had 
lefit the shop, and as I appeared to be not over eager to 
enter her house, she proposed to accompany me to 
mine. This was a choice of two evils, for, on leaving 
the merchants, she had had my stuff placed in her 
carriage by one of her lackeys, and, consequently, I 
was anxious to see it again. I accordingly got in, after 
glancing round to see if we were watched, but, observing 
no one, I began to think myself safe. She had pre- 
viously asked me my address, so as to tell it to the 
coachman, who did not know a word of French, and, 
as I did not know one word of English, I could not 
understand what she said to him. This being so, as 
she had ordered the man to drive to her house instead 
of to mine, I was astounded, on getting out, to find 
myself in a courtyard which was quite unknown to me. 
The lady perceived my surprise, and told me to be 
reassured, saying that it was not a fine thing to tremble 
in a lady's présence, and she knew a thousand people 
who, very far from pulling such a long face as I was 
doing, would hâve thanked her a thousand times for 
her complacency. I made no reply to her cajoleries — 
indeed, I had no reply to make, finding myself shut up 
within four walls without any idea as to how I was to 
get out. 

The lady would hâve been much upset if her lackeys 
had understood French, for she would not hâve been 


pleased that they should hâve been witnesses of my 
conduct towards her; besides, they might hâve repeated 
it to the Ambassador. However, as she had taken care 
to choose those who were new corners and dullards, so 
that they might not understand, she again reproached 
me a thousand times, and receiving thèse reproaches 
coldly enough, she told me that I was unworthy of her 
attentions. She was beautiful, as I hâve already said, 
and even so beautiful that I know not if her like existed 
in ail England, and so, soon putting on one side delicacy 
about making love to another man's mistress, it was 
not my fault that I did not that moment give a proof 
that I found her even more beautiful than I had done 
when she had come to choose the stuff. I begged her 
to dismiss her lackeys and her maid, so that I might 
speak at my ease, to which she replied that my memory 
must be short for me to hâve already forgotten that her 
servants did not understand one word of French. To 
this I rejoined, that it was true that they had no ears 
for my words, but she must agrée with me that they 
had eyes to observe my actions. Love made itself 
known in many ways, and after a lover had tried to 
make himself understood by fine protestations, he must 
hâve recourse to even more significant things still. This 
was my case, and why I wished her people sent away. 
She clearly understood my meaning, but, as this was 
not what she desired, made answer that I passed too 
quickly from one extrême to the other for her to take 
me at my word. At first I had appeared to her ail 
lire, then ail ice, immediately after hearing what her 
father had said. She had in vain used ail efforts to 
warm me, though I had done everything to discourage 
her. One could place little reliance on people of this 
VOL. II 21 


sort, and what I was proposing would on the contrary 
turn me into ice again ; so, to be more certain of me, 
she must sell her favours more dearly than I thought. 

True is it that nothing sharpens the appetite like diffi- 
culty ; the more fuss she made, the more eager I became. 
She soon perceived this both from my words, and my flash- 
ing eyes. In vain I begged her to dismiss her servants 
that I might kiss her hand. She retorted that, were I 
to kiss that, I should afterwards want to kiss something 
else. I was unable to alter her résolve, and ail I could 
obtain from her w^as a promise that we should meet 
again, and the assurance that patience conquered ail 
things. We had supped together without ceremony, 
and I had made an excellent ragoût for her, which she 
declared was the best she had ever tasted. I promised 
to soon prépare another of the same sort, for it would 
not be long before I would return. Indeed, I proposed 
to come back the next day, always providing que la 
Signora ne fut pas inpedita, as the Italian runs, that 
is to say, that " the lady was not prevented"; for, ever 
since her father's words, I entertained suspicions as to 
her being a Vestal. Meanwhile, whilst in bed, I 
received a note by an old Duenna, in which she sent 
me word to take care not to return and see her till 
further notice, for her husband had arrived a quarter 
of an hour after my departure, and, as he was a curions 
man, she had to be careful with him. 

At first I thought this a pretext to get rid of me 
for some reason or other, but she was not lying on 
this occasion, though sometimes she did so, as it is 
easy to perceive from her story to me of her father's 
drunkenness, Be this as it may, being doubtful whether 
her note was true or not, I went to discover m the 


neighbourhood of her house if her husband had really 
returned. A neighbour, who knew some French, told 
me that he had and, asking me if I was thinking of 
entering his service, advised me against doing so, 
because, besides being a beggar of beggars, he was a 
very bad master to boot. It was not surprising that 
this man should take me for a servant. I was wearing 
a ragged suit and my hair was concealed under a wig 
which I had adopted as a disguise on my voyage, so 
as to be unrecognised, for usually I wore it as I do 
to-day. It was consequently easy for me to make him 
believe ail I wished, and after some further talk I 
went to see the husband of my Englishwoman in 
the v^retched clothes I was wearing, which exactly 
suited my part of a cook out of place. As I knew very 
well how to cook a ragoût, I was quite ready he should 
take me at my word, and besides, reckoned that my 
new rôle would in no way interfère with the affairs 
of M. le Cardinal, which, as there was no great cooking 
to be done, I should find time to look after, whenever 
I might think fit. 

The husband of the lady himself came to open the 
door when I knocked. On seeing him I was afraid 
that I had corne too late to obtain the place, for he 
was of evil appearance, with hands as black as a 
charcoal burner's. I indeed took him for a cook, which 
he was much more like than a gentleman, so much so 
that he had to tell me who he was before I could 
believe he was really the master. However, after 
having learnt from whom I had come, he told me to 
go into the kitchen and prépare supper and afterwards 
we would discuss my wages. 

It was then about four or five o'clock in the afteraoon, 

21 — 2 


and I passed unrecognised by his wife's servants, who 
had seen me as it were but for a minute. The lady, 
on being informed that her husband had engaged a 
French cook came downstairs to ask me to make 
a ragoût similar to the one she had eaten with me, 
and having better eyes she immediately recognised 
me, but being afraid of harming both of us she took 
care to give no sign of récognition, but at once went 
upstairs again. She was enchanted, as she afterwards 
told me, at the proofs of love, which she deemed me 
to be giving her, and I took good care not to destroy 
her illusions, as I should hâve done, had I told her 
that jealousy had had as much to do with my conduct 
as love. Indeed, had I been thoroughly certain of her 
virtue, I should never hâve made any enquiries whether 
her husband had really returned, as I had done. Be 
this as it may, having cooked him an even better 
ragoût than that of the day before, the poor cuckold, 
who was like a regular Sancho Pansa, told me that 
whilst I made sauces like this I should be the man 
for him, and at the same time promised me large 
wages, apparently on the condition they should never 
be paid. It was a great pity that he was not a 
foUower of M. le Cardinal, for like him he would 
hâve ruined himself in promises. Never had man 
such a bent for lying as he, and from what he said 
he was the richest individual in the world. Everything 
belonged to him — Heaven and earth, so to speak! 
Nevertheless, though he had not one sou of ready 
money, he was always boasting of his wealth, though 
not of something else which really belonged to him. 
He was fit for a straight waistcoat, and kept that 
quiet, though one had but to see him to perceive 
the truth. 


What I had done for the lady— at least what she 
thought I had done — soon obtained its reward, and she 
accorded me what I asked the very first time I did so, 
declaring that a woman who could be ungrateful after 
my having become a cook for her sake would deserve 
drowning. Thus did she excuse her weakness, and as 
when one's own interests are concerned one is but too 
feeble, I thought myself lucky in occupying a position 
which could not be considered a great one by any dis- 
interested person ; for, to hâve the leavings of a second 
Sancho Pansa and the ambassador vvas not much. 

The lady was, however, as one may say, a novice in 
love, and had never had a child. In spite of thèse 
advantages, she v^as, to my mind, spoilt by a fault 
which some, though not sensible, people consider a 
merit. There were certain moments when she affected 
to be too much carried away by love, a thing which in 
no wise befits, I will not say a respectable woman, but, 
further, a respectable mistress. Woman's distinguish- 
ing quality should be modesty. It is to guard this as 
well as to keep draughts away that beds hâve curtains, 
and a virtuous woman disKkes thèse to be drawn aside 
at certain moments, for daylight might seem to 
reproach her for lacking that delicacy which her sex 

Be this as it may, this lady in due course began to 
show signs of being about to become a mother, and at 
once gave me the crédit of being the cause. I had my 
own opinion on the subject, and, without being certain 
of anything, felt sure that I had, at ail events, done 
my share as well as other people. Sancho Pansa, 
indeed, took ail the crédit to himself, and, in short, 
this child, after being attributed by its mother to her 


husband and myself, was further laid at the door of 
the Ambassador, M. de Bordeaux, by her — a gift which 
was at once registered by public opinion. The latter 
was a man of some worth, clever and polite, besides 
being generous enough when his heart was captured. 
The gift of this lady in no wise displeased him, and, 
indeed, his affection for his Englishwoman was con- 
siderably increased thereby. Every day he was wont 
to corne and visit her, and, chancing to eat one of my 
ragoûts, curiosity seized him to see me and learn my 
history. With this object the ambassador sent a 
lackey for me, but, being in no mood^ to show my 
nose to a man who might be returning to Paris at 
any moment and meet me there, I feigned a headache 
to escape such an unpalatable interview. Besides, I 
hated him at heart as a rival, though, curiously enough, 
I bore Sancho Pansa no ill-will, deeming him too con- 
temptible for my notice. Mayhap I was wrong to 
avoid this interview, for it was inévitable that M. de 
Bordeaux should again ask to see me, for, since my 
arrivai, his own cook no longer came with him to 
prépare his food. I had realised this, and, conse- 
quently, had an idea of cooking ail his dishes so badly 
that he should lose ail désire to see me, but, fearing on 
reflection that such a course might cause my expulsion, 
I continued to please the ambassador's taste so much 
(though he himself kept an excellent table), that he was 
not long in paying me the compliment I dreaded. 
This time I dared not make the same excuse as before, 
so, deciding to play the loon, I told the lackey sent to 

I D'Artagnan had probably secret orders from Cardinal 
Mazarin to keep a close watch on the ambassador and report 
what he was doing. 



fetch me that I was afraid to go upstairs for fear of his 
master's laughing at me. Poor as I was, I hated being 
made a laughing stock, for I came from a province 
where folks were so full of pride as to often injure 
their own interests. At least, that had been my case, 
for, had I not been unwilling to be jeered at, I should 
still hâve been with the Commandeur de Jars. 

The name of this offîcer sprang to my lips sooner 
than anyone else's, because I knew that he kept a 
good table and loved laughing at everyone. My 
answer, however, but increased the Ambassador's 
curiosity, for he knew that this commandeur only 
employed first-class servants, and he accordingly sent 
for me once again. I showed myself no more obedient 
than on the other occasions, and Sancho Pansa, who 
chattered as was his wont, chancing to say that my 
conceit gave him no surprise (for I was a fine, well- 
built fellow, and were he not certain of his wife, a 
man he should not care for her to cast her eyes 
upon), the ambassador, whose suspicions were perhaps 
aroused by the lady blushing or by some decrease of 
tenderness on her part, became very uneasy. He 
announced his intention of himself going to see me and 
taking Sancho Pansa (who could refuse him nothing 
as he lived at his expense) with him. I found myself, 
to my great surprise, confironted by thèse unwelcome 
visitors. Covered with confusion, which was only too 
apparent, I answered the interrogatories put to me 
by M. de Bordeaux as shortly as possible, but in 
spite of this he clearly perceived from my demeanour 
and appearance that I was no mère cook. Deciding 
to watch me he sent one of his men, eighteen or 
nineteen years old, on the pretext of learning how 


to cook a ragoût after my fashion. This youth was 
usually his agent when he wished to debauch some 
girl, which was often enough, for a wife and mistress 
did not satisfy his appetites. His wife indeed had 
remained in Paris, where she led a very gay life, which 
in due course was reported to her husband by his 
father. As the ambassador was a man of honour, 
he was much annoyed at thèse scandais and wrote a 
lecture to his lady, threatening to corne to Paris unless 
she gave up certain friends. She might well hâve 
done so, but, being of a perverse nature, she feigned 
illness and closed her door to everyone, which coming 
to M. de Bordeaux' ears made him so jealous that, 
forgetting me, he set out from London, alleging a 
hunting party near Dover as his excuse, and crossed 
the Channel without saying a word to a soûl. He 
arrived at his house about midnight, and, awakening 
the porter, who did not dare to refuse him the entry, 
went upstairs to his wife's room, which he found 
shut up. Having aroused an old servant, who had 
been his nurse, he learnt from her that her mistress 
had twice, twenty-four hours before, bidden her adieu 
for a fortnight or three weeks without saying where 
she was going, and had given strict instructions that 
her sudden departure was to be kept a secret. 

This was terrible news for the ambassador, for he 
could not go and look for his wife, for he feared that 
being away from his post might injure his prospects 
with the King or his minister, were they to hear of it. 
He could therefore only speak to his father on the 
subject and beg him to avenge his honour when the 
lady should return, keeping in the meanwhile silence 
about the matter as much for his own honour as for 


the ultimate success of his revenge. This being done, 
he at once set out on his return to London, occasionally 
telling himself on the way that now the only mis- 
fortune left to him would be to find himself as unlucky 
in the matter of his mistress as he had been with his 
wife. He still had suspicions about me, but, as the 
other affair was far more serious, one jealousy had 
well nigh obliterated the other. 

In due course M. de Bordeaux arrived in London, 
and the very day of his arrivai his cup was filled to 
the brim by the discovery of the truth of his suspicions 
about myself. The youth he had set to spy over me 
reported to him that, Sancho Pansa having got as 
drunk as a pig with two Englishwomen, his wife and I 
had been shut up in a bedroom together from eleven 
at night till five the next morning. Such news was 
not calculated to soothe the ambassador's ruffled 
feelings, and he determined to break ail the fine 
mirrors and other costly furniture which he had given 
his mistress before her eyes, as he could not decently 
give the woman a castigation. However, when he 
appeared on the scène, the work was already half 
done. Madame de Bordeaux had arrived there with a 
companion, and had at once begun by smashing the 
mirrors to bits, and had then covered her husband's 
paramour with abuse. Ail this had just happened. 
The Englishwoman had been completely taken by 
surprise, for she did not know who the ambassadress, 
who had come simply dressed in a travelling costume, 
might be. Madame de Bordeaux had intended to 
return at once to Paris, but this the Englishwoman 
prevented by sending at once for a constable, which 
corresponds with the man we term a commissaire. 


Meanwhile, she had her door guarded, declaring that, 
when this officer should arrive, neither the lady nor her 
companion should get out of his hands till they had 
paid the last sou for the damage they had done, and 
also for the affront which she had received. 

The ambassador, under thèse circumstances, had a 
good deal of trouble in obtaining admission, the man 
at the door telling him that, two female thieves having 
corne to rob his mistress, they had been secured whilst 
breaking her mirrors. M. de Bordeaux took this for 
truth and praised the man for his vigilance, but, on 
going upstairs, could not hâve been more astonished, 
had horns suddenly sprouted from his head, than he 
was at the sight of his wife and her companion. For 
some time he was speechless, but, regaining his sensés, 
he begged the Englishwoman to counterorder the 
constable and he vv^ould hâve ail the damage made 
good ; then, being left alone w^ith the ambassadress, 
he bade her give her reasons for having left Paris 
without his leave. In reply, she retorted that a woman 
had no need of such a thing, v^^hen she possessed a 
husband who led a life such as he did. This was why 
he had not brought her with him. However, news of 
this kind soon travelled across the sea, and, therefore, 
he should not be astonished at her having come in 
person to show her resentment and contempt. 

The ambassador had been so alarmed at the reports 
sent him by his father that he was delighted at matters 
turning out in this way, so, begging the Englishwoman 
to hold her peace about what had occurred, he told her 
to say that the lady was a mistress of her husband, 
who had been promised marriage by him, and, having 
been deceived, had come to create a scandai. At the 


same time he sent word to Sancho Pansa not to corne 
home that day, so as to give greater colour to this 
story. He knew he was to be found either at an inn or 
a tennis-court, as, indeed, was the case, and this 
husband duly betook himself to the Embassy, so as 
to appear to hâve need of some safe retreat, awaiting 
there the orders of the ambassador as to showing him- 
self again. The EngHshwoman's servants were much 
surprised at matters settling down so easily, M. de 
Bordeaux taking care to tell his mistress in their 
présence that her husband had brought ail this scandai 
upon himself. He then, after a hasty supper, sent ofî 
his wife and her companion towards the Tower, where 
a frigate he had hired was ready to take them back to 
France under the charge of Sancho Pansa, whom he 
was delighted to get rid of in such a manner, for he 
was killing two birds with one stone. The ambassa- 
dress was much upset at being sent off after this 
fashion, for she was compelled to départ by her 
husband, who kept his face in his cloak for fear of 
being recognised whilst seeing her go on board the 

His Excellency, having settled this matter, now had 
only me to deal with. The report of his spy had 
increased his suspicions that I was quite a différent 
characterfromtheonelpretendedto be, but nevertheless, 
he was very much puzzled as to how I could hâve 
obtained a footing in the house. In the meantime, it 
must not be imagined that I had been neglecting my 
duty. Twice had I written to M. le Cardinal about 
those subjects which he had sent me to enquire into, 
and he had found my information so much in accord 
with that of his other informants that he sent me 


Word back expressing his satisfaction with my conduct 
and instructing me not to return till further orders. 
To tell the truth, I was becoming fatigued with the 
part I had been playing at the house of the English- 
woman. It was paying too dear a price for her favours 
to hâve to personate a cook, though, in addition to 
my expecting to please the Cardinal, the lady was wont 
to embrace me in spite of my kitchen apron, and 
to déclare that she loved me, as I was a thousand times 
better than the whole English Court. She took care 
not to say the ambassador, though she had always 
denied having any relations with him like grim death 
itself. Whenever I mooted such a thing, she would 
reply that he came merely as a relative and intimate 
friend of Sancho Pansa. There were many spies of 
M. de Bordeaux in London, who kept him informed 
about matters which were of importance to him to 
know. It must be understood that I had taken to 
frequenting inns (as does everyone in England) so as 
to pick up anything likely to forward my interests with 
his Eminence, and, as I had the wherewithal to be 
decently dressed, no one took me for the cook of 
Sancho Pansa's wife. Not that this kind of life was 
to my liking ; indeed, except at the time of ^ my early 
loves, and in order to see my mistress, I had never 
indulged in this kind of debauchery. Indeed, I think 
it ill befitting a respectable man to go and tipple the 
greater part of the day, and in France it is only done 
by the dregs of the populace, for if by chance other 
people take to this kind of life, as sometimes happens, 
they are thought worthy only of the finger of scorn. 
Be this as it may, thinking that, the less I liked it, 

I See Vol. I., p. 97. 



the more praise I deserved from the Court, for whose 
sake I did it, I became so assiduous in my attendance 
as to occupy the position of one of the chief pillars of 
the inn I frequented. In conséquence, people began 
to grow curious as to where I lived, and my reasons 
for having corne to England. By way of satisfying 
their curiosity, I made reply that I was travelling for 
my own pleasure. When however I tried to give 
evasive answers as to where I lived, the matter became 
more serious, for enquiries were made as to the truth 
of my statements. A spy of the ambassador's in par- 
ticular, was very suspicious as to my reasons for being 
eager for news, and watched me near Long Acre where 
I had told him I was living. This is a big street at 
the exterior of the town leading to Whitehall, which is 
the palace of the Kings of England. He wasted his 
time there, from five in the morning to five at night, 
which was showing a good deal more patience than I 
could ever hâve shown, though my business in England 
was much the same as his own. Be this as it may, 
coming on to our accustomed inn, he proceeded to eye 
me carefully, and became every moment more certain 
that his suspicions were correct. 

I left the inn at seven that evening, and the spy 
would hâve followed me to find out where I really 
lived, had he been able to do so, but, as he was not 
prepared for this, he let me go alone, and delayed his 
schemes to the morrow. Meanwhile, betaking himself 
to the ambassador, he informed him of his discovery. 
M. de Bordeaux showed himself very keen about the 
matter, for just then M. le Prince was doing his best 
to get Cromwell to make a treaty against France, so, 
at once concluding I was one of his men, he bade him 


be sure and foUow me the next day, and he would pro- 
vide him with an assistant to let him know what was 
to be done with me. Never dreaming of this, I went 
next day as usual to the inn, and should soon hâve been 
trapped, had I not been wont to always look behind me 
on going out. I consequently had no difficulty in per- 
ceiving that I was followed, and having tried in vain to 
baffle my pursuer, I thought it best to go straight up to 
him. The man was rather taken aback at this, but, 
being an impudent fellow, kept on his way, stopping 
only in a doorway to observe my movements. How- 
ever, coming within three paces of him, I taxed him 
with having followed me for a quarter of an hour past, 
and demanded what the meaning of such conduct 
might be ? He retorted with much insolence, that I 
then wished to stop him walking in the street, which I 
could not do, since the King of England, who alone 
could forbid it, allowed everyone in the town to take as 
many turns in it as they liked. His answer seemed to 
me to deserve only punishment, and at once drawing 
my sword, he fled to escape my rage, not having as 
much courage as chatter about him. He ran well 
enough, and, as far as I could see in the lantern light, 
was a spare man and not at ail fat, so though a good 
enough runner myself, I forbore to pursue him. Indeed, 
I did not wish to do so, my sole désire being to avoid 

After this, I lost sight of the man who had been so 
terrified at my wanting to attack him, that following 
me further was the last thing he dreamt of. My path 
was therefore clear to return to my Englishwoman who 
would hâve liked me to spend ail the afternoon with 
her, being of opinion that, as her husband was out and 


the ambassador looking after his despatches, I was 
wrong to waste such precious time. But, if his 
Excellency had business to do, I had mine just as well 
as he, so I told her plainly that the nights were long 
enough without my giving up the days too. Indeed, 
I passed most of my time with her, and I had found 
means to frustrate the intentions of the ambassador by 
making his spy drunk every evening, for he was devoted 
to wine and was too poor to buy it himself, for in 
England it is very expensive. Nevertheless, as one 
must be very cautious when meddling with one's 
neighbour's wife, I made this apprentice belicve that 
the wine cost me nothing, in order that my generosity 
might not arouse his suspicions, teUing him that I had 
found means to open the cellar door of the ambassador, 
which much dehghted him, for heappearedto be afraid 
of my money coming to an end. Being calmed by the 
idea that we were drinking at his Excellency's expense, 
he could not prevent himself telling me, whilst in his 
cups, that the ambassador was jealous of me and had 
sent him to the Englishwoman's house much more on 
that account than to learn how to cook my ragoût. 
He omitted, however, to add that he had told M. de 
Bordeaux of having on one occasion seen me enter his 
mistress's chamber, and that I had passed the night 
there. Had he done so, I should hâve taken certain 
précautions which in my ignorance I failed to do, and 
so escaped something which happened to me a few 
days later. 

Meanwhile, as I felt afraid of thanking him for his 
information, lest when his sensés should hâve returned 
he might take advantage of it, I pretended not to be 
able to believe what he had said, declaring that Heaven 


was no further from earth than the suspicion of the 
ambassador from the truth, and his reply should hâve 
put me on my guard, had I been as wise as I ought to 
hâve been. He rejoined that whatever I said would 
not alter his opinion, and when I tried to make him 
explain his meaning, (perceiving that he had said too 
much, which might some day get him into trouble with 
his Excellency) this man feigned not to know what he 
was saying, so as to make me think that drunkenness 
rather than truth had caused him to talk as he had 
done, but in spite of this he was not so drunk as I 

The ambassador was much surprised at the report 
given by the man he had deputed to watch me, and 
was angry with him for not having followed me further. 
Questioning the spy, he discovered from his description 
of my appearance, that I was undoubtedly the in- 
dividual who was passing as a cook in his mistress's 
house, but wishing to make certain of it, he sent at 
supper-time to the EngHshwoman to beg her to send 
her cook to him for but a quarter of an hour. Both 
she and I were much disturbed at this summons, but 
after consulting together we decided that the best 
thing for me to do was to obey it and go. One of my 
reasons for taking such a course was, that I feared 
being sent away in case of disobedience, which indeed 
would not hâve mattered to me much, but my liaison 
with this woman had made me more eager to stay 
than I ought to hâve been, and so I accordingly 
dressed quickly and set out for the Embassy. The 
ambassador had concealed his spy in a place where 
he could not be seen (a thing which I could not 
possibly hâve any idea of) and had given him orders 


to at once corne out of his ambuscade, should I prove 
to be the man who was wanted, and accuse me there 
and then of having told him that I intended poisoning 
his Excellency. No sooner therefore had I entered the 
room than the spy came out of his hiding place. 

My surprise was extrême, for as the ambassador had 
given as an excuse when sending for me that he wanted 
the recipe of my ragoût (which was a ragoût pecuHar 
to my own province) for his wife, I had some idea 
that such was really the case. He had, however, 
merely said this so as to be able to dismiss me without 
arousing my suspicions, should he hâve wrongly 
suspected me. Perceiving however that I was the 
man he expected, he told me, after ringing a bell 
which stood on a bureau near him, that I had then 
but taken up my abode at the Englishwoman's to 
poison him. This he said before his spy had opened 
his mouth, fearing perhaps, after what that individual 
had said, that rage might carry me away and cause 
me to forget the respect I owed to the ambassador 
of my King, or perhaps he may hâve trembled at the 
thought of the accusation he was making. Be this 
as it may, before I could reply, most of his servants 
entered the room armed in différent ways, and headed 
by his écuyer with a pistol in one hand and a sword in 
the other. Seeing how matters lay, I said that such 
a deed as this must redound but little to his honour 
when it should hâve become known. He might hâve 
me assassinated if he liked, but such a pièce of 
cowardice would sully his famé and mayhap I should 
be revenged after my death more dearly than he thought. 

My words made M. de Bordeaux more certain than 
ever that I was an agent of M. le Prince and that I 
VOL. H 22 


meant that it was he who would exact vengeance for 
my blood, so the interests of the State increasing the 
ill-will which he already bore me by reason of his 
jealousy, I should hâve been unfailingly lost, had I 
not possessed so good a patron saint as I did. His 
Excellency again accused me before his servants of 
having wanted to poison him, and, referring to his 
spy as to vi^hether such was not the case, the man 
with unparallelled effrontery declared that it was, adding 
that other witnesses could corroborate his statements, 
and that I had much better confess my guilt and 
implore the mercy of the ambassador, for perhaps 
his anxiety to conceal the defects of our nation might 
prevent his pushing matters to the last extremity. 
In short, this insolent fellow, talking as if I were a 
real criminal, threw me into such a rage that had it 
not been that in no pass whatsoever is it befitting 
to show one's anger, I do not know what I might not 
hâve done. Be this as it may, the ambassador, who 
wanted to ruin me, because not only was he jealous, 
but believed me to be a spy, having produced another 
witness just as shameless as the iirst one, I was 
completely dumfounded as to what to think of such 

The ambassador then caused me to be shut up in a 
room and there kept under observation until he should 
hâve written to M. le Cardinal and received an answer. 
He then wrote to his Eminence, telling him he had 
seized a Frenchman — a spy of M. le Prince — who had 
introduced himself, disguised as a cook, into a house- 
hold where he was wont to visit, adding a great many 
more fantastic détails. The Cardinal, who had no 
mean opinion of him, consequently sent back word 


to hâve me conveyed, bound hand and foot, to 
Boulogne, there to be handed over to the Maréchal 
d'Aumont, who would hold me in safe keeping till 
such time as men should arrive to conduct me to the 
Bastille. Meanwhile, he was to take good care that 
Cromwell should not hear of a prisoner being seized, 
or that he w^as to be sent to France, for his nation was 
so jealous of its privilèges that, without fail, he would 
take exception to his having dared lay hands on my 
person. He should, therefore, whilst despatching me 
from London by night, not only hâve me manacled 
hand and foot, but also hâve me gagged till the ship 
was reached. 

This was the terrible sentence pronounced by his 
Eminence against me, and the ambassador, urged both 
by reasons of State and jealousy, took ail possible care 
to see it carried out. He sent two relays of carriages 
on the road which had to be traversed, so as to ensure 
greater safety and speed. Thèse were posted in the 
country, and not in a town or village, lest I might 
occasion some disturbance and rouse the inhabitants. 
I was gagged only with great difficulty, but, my feet 
and hands being put in irons, I was forced to submit 
to my fate. About one in the morning I was placed in 
a carriage, and, three men entering it, the blinds were 
drawn down to prevent my being observed. Taken to 
a place of embarcation, I was carried on board ship 
with a guard of six men with muskets pointed at my 
head, which, however, somewhat decreased my fears, 
for I deemed that I should not hâve been brought so 
far if I was to be shot ; much more did I fear being 
thrown overboard, but, far from this being the case, no 
sooner had we made a quarter of a league than my gag 

22 — 2 


was removed. I had already been fed two or three 
times on the road, which should hâve reassured me, 
for one does not feed a man who is to be stabbed or 
thrown into the sea. Nevertheless, I did not think 
myself safe till we were in sight of Boulogne, but this 
took a long time, for, though as a rule it is but a 
passage of five or six hours, in our case it was one of 
four whole days, and we were near perishing on the 
way. A storm arose two hours after raising anchor 
and drove us far out of our course, which enabled the 
men sent by M. le Cardinal to reach Boulogne before I 
did. They presented their credentials to M. le Maré- 
chal d'Aumont, who had been informed what to do, 
and declared himself ready to hand me over directly I 
should hâve landed. I had hoped to be taken at once 
before the Maréchal, or the Lieutenant de Roi, if he 
were away, but my escort, having come to fetch me at 
the landing place, at once thrust me into a hired 
carriage which they had brought with them in order 
to conceal me from the people of Boulogne, who were 
then somewhat rebellious, and might hâve attempted a 
rescue. My captors paid no heed whatever to my 
entreaties to take me before the maréchal, which, 
indeed, I might hâve caused them to do, had I let 
out who I was, in which case I should hâve been 
treated as no spy, but as a man of some conséquence. 
Fearing, however, lest my speaking out might displease 
his Eminence, I allowed myself to be taken where my 
escort pleased, without breathing a syllable as to my 

Seven or eight days after, we reached the Bastille 
about four or five o'clock in the afternoon, and I began 
to laugh to myself at the thought of my being taken 


there. I pictured the governor's surprise (for I was 
known to him) when I should be delivered into his 
hands, knowing that I should only hâve to whisper 
a word in his ear to receive quite a différent réception 
from that which my guards expected. However, the 
governor proved to be away, and so I was taken before 
an underhng of his, who was a stranger to me, and I, 
therefore, determined to keep my secret till his return, 
which I thought would be that evening. He stayed, how- 
ever, at St. Germain, where he had gone, till the next day, 
and dressing for the King's levée, before retur ning to Paris, 
the Commandeur de Souvrai sent him word to join him 
in a hunting party with M. le Premier. The governor, 
who was passionately fond of hunting, gave up his idea 
of going to pay his court to the King, and at once 
changing his dress, started off. The stag led the hunt 
near to Mantes, and his horse falling, this governor 
broke his left arm. The accident delayed his return, 
and gave me more time than I expected to bore myself 
in. I had been thrown into a dungeon where my 
clothes became every night wringing wet with damp, 
though I kept a fire burning ail day. I had besides, a 
sorry bed which was half a foot too short for me. 

Three weeks elapsed before the governor returned to 
Paris, for he had at first been treated by a village 
surgeon whose work had to be done over again. 
Meanwhile, ail my entreaties to communicate with 
him were scoffed at by my gaoler. I also asked in 
vain for a confesser in spite of my feigning illness, 
and my attempts to obtain an interview with the 
governor's substitute proved in no way more success- 
ful. At last, in despair, I begged the man who was 
wont to bring me food, and who was one of the men 


who are called by the name of Porte-clef in the 
Bastille, to ail events tell the governor that I was a 
gentleman of the Court. He promised to do so, but 
instead of faithfully carrying my message, sent word 
to him that I had lost my head, and was trying to pass 
for a great lord ; adding, that I had even erected a 
canopy in my room made of my bed clothes, under 
which I would sit and show off my madness. It was 
true that I had erected something of the kind, but it 
had been only as a protection against the wind which 
blew in exactly upon me. The governor, who was 
quite accustomed to see most of his prisoners go mad, 
thought that this was my case, and consequently paid 
no further attention. 

Meanwhile, M. le Cardinal was writing to me in 
London about some instructions he wished to give 
me, and was much puzzled at receiving no reply. 
He did not dare to ask news of me from M. de 
Bordeaux, for he had sent me to England without 
giving him any information as to my coming. This 
being so, he had recourse to a banker, whom he was 
wont to employ in that country, and the latter, having 
made every enquiry, sent word back to his Eminence 
that I had disappeared a month ago and given rise 
to much uneasiness as to my fate. The Cardinal was 
more puzzled at this than ever, and ordered the banker 
to make further search, which he did with no better 
success than before. At this time Treville was 
beginning to lower his tone, and chancing to be 
discussing matters which concerned his post with his 
Eminence, he was asked by him if he had heard 
any news of me, to which he replied that he thought 
I had returned to my own province. Besmaux, in 


answer to the same question, declared that I was 
just the man to hâve joined the Carthusians, for I 
had often said they were the happiest people in 
the world, and in conséquence of this statement the 
Cardinal had ail the Carthusian monasteries in the 
kingdom written to, but naturally obtained no news 
of my whereabouts. Under thèse circumstances he 
might perhaps hâve disposed of my post, had he not 
thought fit to Vivait yet a little longer. 

The Englishwoman, mystified at my disappearance, 
had meanwhile kept asking for news of me from 
M. de Bordeaux, who maliciously pretended to hâve 
sent me back to her house. Thinking, therefore, that 
I had become weary of her and reflecting that a 
dozen lovers could be found for one who was lost, 
she easily consoled herself for what she believed to 
be my fickleness. When the ambassador perceived 
that his mistress bore my absence with such indifférence, 
he began to fear he had made a mistake and that I was 
innocent. He accordingly wrote to M. le Cardinal 
to ask him whether the prisoner he had sent over 
had proved guilty or not, so as to be able to take the 
requisite measures to guard against the plots of 
the Prince de Condé. 

His Eminence had been so busy that he had 
forgotten ail about the prisoner, but this letter jogging 
his memory, he gave orders for the lieutenant-criminel 
to come and interrogate me. There was then no 
lieutenant-général of police, as there is to-day. I was 
delighted beyond measure, when this magistrate 
announced what he had come for, and he, in turn, 
was astounded at perceiving who the prisoner was. 
He knew me to be no spy of M. le Prince, but yet, 


carrying out the forms of his office, and proceeding 
with his questions, ail the answer he could obtain 
from me was that I had been tricked, and would beg 
him to tell the Cardinal of my plight. The lieutenant- 
criminel went straight from the Bastille to the Palais 
Mazarin, and saw M. le Cardinal, who at once asked 
if the prisoner should be hung or broken on the wheel ? 
The officer replied that there was nothing to be made 
of M. d'Artagnan, for he would answer no questions. 
At first his Eminence could not realise that I was the 
prisoner sent over from England, but having at last 
done so, he immediately despatched a courier to 
that country to enquire the grounds on which the 
ambassador had accused me of being a spy of M. le 
Prince. My name was not as well known as that of 
M. le Prince, nor the Vicomte de Turenne, nor many 
others of like merit, but still, as, when one is a captain 
in the Guards, one is in some way beginning to 
distinguish oneself, M. de Bordeaux had heard enough 
about me to know who I was, and was, therefore, much 
astonished when he heard whom he had caused to be 
arrested. He sent excuses to M. le Cardinal, saying 
that being ignorant of my présence in London, my 
avidity for news, together with the fact of my having 
personated a cook at the house of a lady whom he 
frequently visited, together with other circumstances 
which had come to his knowledge, had caused him 
to believe me to be acting thus for love of M. le Prince, 
and, therefore, he had deemed that both prudence and 
his duty demanded my being made a prisoner. 

M. le Cardinal, who was the most suspicious man in 
the world, thought my masquerade such a bad joke as 
to suddenly lose more than half the good opinion he 


had up to then had of me, and he began to be somewhat 
suspicions as to whether I had not really been won over 
by the Prince. His Eminence knew nothing of the 
part which love had played in my disguise, nor of the 
relations of M. de Bordeaux with the Englishwoman, 
so telling the lieutenant-criminel to return the next 
day, he instructed him to continue my interrogation 
and inform me, were I still to refuse to answer, that I 
should be treated^ like a dumb man. I was also to be 
told that the Cardinal would be delighted for me to 
justify myself, but were I by chance to be found guilty, 
less mercy would be shown to me than to anyone else, 
since ingratitude, as well as treachery, must then be 
laid to my charge. I had been five weeks in prison, 
but long as thèse weeks had been, they seemed to me 
shorter than the twenty-four hours which elapsed 
before the lieutenant-criminel returned to question me, 
and I was totally at a loss to divine the reason of his 
being so long — I was so disturbed at this that I could 
eat nothing, and indeed I must really hâve appeared a 
madman to my gaoler. The only consolation I could 
give myself was that M. le Cardinal had gone to 
Vincennes, and so had not been able to be found. 

At last, after this terrible twenty-four hours, the 
Porte-clef, came to say that the lieutenant-criminel 
was waiting for me with his clerk in the hall of the 
governor, a pièce of news which alarmed me beyond 
measure, indeed, I felt a shock just as if ail the blood 
in my veins had rushed to my heart. It was the 
mention of the clerk being with the officer that dis- 
turbed me, for I knew what this meant ! The lieut- 
enant-criminel received me in a very grave fashion, and 
I Meaning that torture would be resorted to. 


having made me sit opposite to him, set forth that 
when a man was once in the hands of justice matters 
moved none too quickly, and he must justifyhimself to 
get out of them. I had been painted as black as coal, 
and before being thought white as snow, I must give 
certain proofs of my innocence. He had been deputed 
by M. le Cardinal to interrogate me and make a report 
to him, and I must therefore answer his questions. 
This I declined to do, being unwilling to be treated as 
a malefactor when I had but done my duty. Even- 
tually, after much threatening on his part and much 
firmness on mine, I bethought me of asking for an 
interview with Navailles, adding that I would answer 
any questions put to me by him, and if his Eminence, 
after that, were still to believe me guilty, I would 
willingly submit to be tried, though I did not imagine 
that matters would ever corne to such a pass, unless it 
was a crime to hâve made love to the mistress of the 
ambassador ! 

The lieutenant-criminel, through whose hands ail 
criminals who were to be hung or broken on the wheel 
were wont to pass, was so experienced in distinguishing 
the innocent from the guilty as to hardly ever be 
deceived. Forming a just estimate of me, he returned 
to M. le Cardinal, and told him that it was his opinion 
that my présent pHght arose from the jealousy of 
M. de Bordeaux, who had wished to rid himself of a 
rival. The Cardinal, who now began to hâve serious 
doubts as to my guilt, sent Navailles to see me at the 
Bastille, and, when he appeared, I told him everything 
as to my adventures in England, protesting that, in 
future, I would confine myself to the strict duties of 
my post, or withdraw altogether from the Court, for I 


felt terribly bitter against the Cardinal. Navailles, 
having counselled me to be calm, returned to his 
Eminence thoroughly sure of my innocence, and, 
having convinced him of it also, an order was sent 
to the Governor of the Bastille to give me my liberty. 
I do not know which of us was the more confused, the 
Cardinal or myself, when I went to his house to thank 
him. If I was afraid of being looked upon as a criminal 
for having lain nearly six weeks in the Bastille, he, for 
his part, feared my reproaches, for he knew he had 
been in the wrong. I described to him my doings in 
England, and, our interview having passed without 
allusion to my misfortunes, he told Navailles, when I 
had gone, that he was completely satisfied with my 
conduct. Some days later I received an order for two 
thousand crowns, alleged as a reward for my secret 
services to the State. Had I been over scrupulous, I 
might hâve refused this money, for it was not indeed 
the State which I had served, but the Cardinal. Be 
this as it may, having gone to thank his Eminence, he 
took the opportunity of saying that my imprisonment 
had not arisen from any wish of his own, having been 
caused solely by the denunciation of M. de Bordeaux. 
His Eminence added that he had to be careful not to 
show any undue favour to his servants for fear of a 
public outcry. Thèse excuses, together with the two 
thousand crowns (which seemed to me most important 
of ail), entirely calmed my resentment, and, having 
made a suitable reply, we became once more upon the 
very best of terms. 

The campaign of 1655 was now about to commence, 
and I spent part of my money in an outfit, and kept 
the rest to entertain my friends with. Unlike the 


people of my province, who are, as a rule, stingy, 
I liked to be hospitable, being wont to déclare that 
money was made to be used, and 1 would as soon hâve 
none at ail as keep it at the bottom of a coffer, as 
many people did. M. le Cardinal was glad to see me 
of such a disposition, though not of it himself. Our 
army set out for Hainaut, and suddenly attacked 
Landrecies. M. le Cardinal came to Guise with the 
King, so as to be able to issue his orders. The army 
was that year commanded by the Vicomte de Turenne 
and the Maréchal de la Ferté, his Eminence having 
adopted the plan of having two gênerais to an army, 
so as they might act as a check on one another in the 
way of treachery. Landrecies was in due course cap- 
tured, the Vicomte de Turenne giving proof of the 
very highest generalship. I acted as a hostage whilst 
negotiations were being carried on for the surrender of 
the town, and, when thèse had been signed, Navailles 
advised me to ask for the governorship, which I should 
not hâve donc of my own accord, for it was a most 
important position. His Eminence very politely ex- 
pressed his regret at not being able to comply with my 
wishes, citing many officers senior to myself, who 
would raise strong objections to my obtaining such a 
reward, and, at the same time, advised me to be more 
moderate in my demands in future. After the capitu- 
lation of Landrecies, the King held a review of the 
army, remaining on horseback from four in the morning 
till eight at night, taking even his food on horseback ; 
everyone admired his détermination. His Majesty 
afterwards returned to Guise. La Capelle was now 
attacked by our troops, but, after two or three furious 
combats, we abandoned the siège of that city. We 


then, after some further fighting, drove the enemy to 
take shelter under the cannon of Condé ; and the 
Château de Bossu having been captured by our forces, 
the King was installed in it. As his Majesty was 
followed by a large suite, much forage was wanted for 
their horses ; and this had to be obtained from under 
the gâtes of Valenciennes, our supplies having given 
eut. Foraging was dangerous work, and the parties 
which engaged in it were always commanded by 
lieutenant-généraux, some of whom were none too 
élever officers. 

Bussi Rabutin did not however include himself 
amongst this latter class. Never had man such a good 
opinion of himself, and because he was successful with 
the ladies, he wanted to be so in military matters, for 
which he had in reality but little bent. Everyone 
wished him to meet with some reverse, so as he might 
be humiliated, for there was nobody secure against his 
tongue. It was not long before this désire was 
gratified. Having been ordered to go on a foraging 
party, Bussi set out with a certain number of squad- 
rons, and being lured into an ambuscade by the enemy, 
who executing a clever manœuvre devised by the Duc 
de Bournonville, Governor of Valenciennes, at first 
pretended to retreat, the body of horsemen under his 
command was totally routed and forced to fly. Nor 
was he one of the last to do so, and, in fact, it was he 
himself who brought news of the defeat, though he 
tried to make light of it. This reverse was a great 
mortification for him, and for some time he behaved 
more wisely, but as when people are used to anything, 
they speedily return to their vomit, not only did he 
recommence being more slanderous than ever, but 


further employed his pen, which was just as biting as 
his longue. He composed his " Histoire amoureuse 
des Gaules," a small book quite full of slanders, with 
which he mingled some truth to make it appear more 
true. Nevertheless, he kept this book quiet for some 
time, fearing lest it might préjudice his chances of 
becoming a Maréchal de France, which he arrogantly 
aspired to be. Indeed, I hâve heard one of his friends 
say, that so afraid was he on this score, that the book 
would never hâve been published, had he obtained the 
honour he coveted, but perceiving that the peace of the 
Pyrénées which was concluded some years later, had 
prevented ail chance of his obtaining what he wished, 
Bussi was enchanted to produce it from his study, so 
as to revenge himself on a minister with whom he was 
dissatisfied. Apparently, he was of opinion that he 
deserved this honour as much as others, amongst 
whom it is true there were men no more worthy than 
himself, but had it been given to everybody who did 
not deserve it, there would hâve been more Maréchaux 
de France than soldiers, for officers at that time were 
far from thoroughly doing their duty. For one who 
did it, there were a thousand who thought only of 
pleasure. Not that this was the fault of the King, for 
during the whole of the siège of Condé, he continued 
to be seen on horseback from morning till night, just 
as after the taking of Landrecies. 

Condé, the siège of which had begun in the early 
days of August, held out till the eighteenth of that 
month, and we next besieged Saint Guillain, which 
made but a feeble résistance. After the capture of this 
town, the King and his whole Court returned to Paris. 
The Cardinal then recommenced his negotiations with 
M. de Treville, who, as I hâve before said, was show- 


ing himself more tractable; but, nevertheless, his 
pretensions were very great, and his Eminence had 
as yet corne to no arrangement with him. In the 
meanwhile, he had given a régiment of cavalry to his 
nephew, which was to bear his name; hovvever, the 
young man was so proud, that he scorned the post 
given to him, just as he would hâve thought the 
Crown itself too insignificant a thing ! His uncle 
was infuriated at his behaviour, for he was very 
désirons of making him into a great man. The 
Cardinal would sometimes tell me with tears in his 
eyes, of his unhappiness at perceiving after ail he 
had done for his family, that not one member of 
it was able to sustain its lustre. He lamented his 
nephew who had been killed at the combat of St. 
Antoine, saying, that he was quite a différent kind of 
man from his brother. Nevertheless, his Eminence had 
yet another nephew ; the younger brother of thèse two 
gave some signs of being like the eldest, but this boy 
was too young for the Cardinal to rely much upon his 
future, in which he was not wrong, for he was killed 
some time later. Being at school at the collège of 
Clermont, his friends tossed him in a blanket, and 
tossed him so well, that they threw him against the 
ceiHng. Hitting his head, he fell back into the blanket 
covered with blood, and being afterwards trepanned, 
died a day or two later, to the great grief of his uncle 
who, nevertheless, still continued to amass ail the 
wealth he could lay hands on. Meanwhile, his 
Eminence married one of his nièces to the eldest son 
of the Duc de Modène, knowing that there were still 
enough left to make a Queen of England out of, 
which was still an idea of his. 

His only trouble was as to which to choose — his 


Britannic Majesty or Cromwell, and Dne of the 
reasons for his having sent me to England, had 
been to see whether Charles II. had any chance 
of recovering his crown. I had reported my opinion 
on my return. I believed that the EngHsh were 
much opposed to the King's restoration. Cromwell, 
to strengthen his position, had made them think that 
Charles II. had become a Catholic, owing to the per- 
suasion of the Queen, his mother. This was enough 
to make them hâte him more bitterly than ever, since 
this religion was unutterably hateful to them. Not 
that they could say, that the Catholics had ever donc 
them any great harm, on the contrary, they were the 
sufferers since Queen Elizabeth had made Protestant- 
ism suprême in her Kingdom, but if they could not 
reproach them in that respect, the English were yet 
afraid of the yoke of the Popes. The more they 
examined their policy, the more they concluded that 
their sole end was the subjection of everyone under 
the guise of religion. 

The Cardinal, on my reports, gave up ail thoughts 
of the King of England, and turned his entire attention 
to Cromwell, though to me it seemed that he had no 
more to hope for from him than from the other. 
Religion constituted a great obstacle, but in any case, 
his Eminence instructed M. de Bordeaux to make an 
alliance with the Protector in the name of the King his 
master. For a long time past, our ambassador had 
been trying to make such a treaty, so as to prevent an 
alliance between England and Spain, which the 
Spaniards eagerly desired. Cromwell was much more 
inclined to make a treaty with us, and as matters 
appeared to be oroeressine well in this direction, the 


Cardinal formed the idea of once more sending me to 
England, not secretly as before, but to deal with the 
Protector directly, and urge on the alHance. I was 
dehghted at the thought of revenging myself on 
Bordeaux, and was calculating on embracing his mis- 
tress under his very nose, but his Eminence deeming 
that, after what had happened, he would make the 
ambassador his mortal enemy were he to send me, 
despatched Marsac in my place. The latter was a very 
simple man, and the dullest and least capable Gascon 
I hâve ever seen, and indeed, he acquitted himself of 
this mission so ill, that on his return, his Eminence 
abandoned ail hopes of succeeding in his plans. He 
might just as well hâve sent a child as a man like this. 
The Cardinal speaking of him to me, said he was so 
good a man, that he had become a complète fool. My 
reply was, that Marsac might be said to be no richer 
in intellect than in manners. As a matter of fact, he 
was like a pig jobber, and without his sword, might 
hâve been taken for one just corne from selling his 
stock at a fair. For this reason, as he knew he would 
look no better in a rich dress, he spent no money on 
his clothes, but was always so simply dressed that one 
clearly perceived that he took no delight in the 
vanities of the world. 

However, to leave this poor man, who has for some 
time been rotting in the tomb, I must mention that 
M. le Cardinal, always eager for gain, now took it into 
his head to substitute a new copper coin for the 
" denier " which then circulated in France. He 
declared that there was not sufficient small coin in the 
country, but a governor of a province, who was a very 
élever man, hearing of this, played him a trick which 
VOL, II 23 


his Eminence did not forget for some time. Being 
called upon to pay the minister one hundred thousand 
crowns, he coUected ail the small money in his 
province, and placing it in carts, sent it to Paris with 
a letter stating that, there being only small coins in his 
district, he was obliged to send the sum in this form, 
though he had wasted much time in endeavouring to 
obtain larger pièces. The Cardinal was much aston- 
ished at seeing a number of carts entering his court- 
yard, but clearly understood that which this governor 
meant to express, which was that he was wrong to try 
and prétend that there was any lack of small coins. 

Cromwell, whilst negotiating the treaty which I hâve 
spoken of, had wished it to be kept secret till such 
time as he should hâve drawn some money from the 
English Parliament on certain specious pretexts. 
However, as everything is liable to be discovered, the 
Spaniards were informed of what was going on by the 
wife of Major-General Lambert, the great friend of 
Cromwell. She hid herself one day in her husband's 
room to learn what Bordeaux came there so often for, 
and she was the more curious because Cromwell him- 
self took part in thèse conférences. Nevertheless, she, 
as well as her husband, was a pensioner of France, 
which should hâve prevented her from disclosing our 
secrets. However, being in possession of such an 
important one as this, she thought she would make 
something out of it ; and, having entered into com- 
munication with the Spanish Ambassador, the latter 
deemed her information so valuable that he readily 
agreed to her stipulations. He at once went incognito 
to see the Speaker of the Lower House, who was a 
staunch partisan of the King, his master, and told him 


what was going on. The Speaker, in return, advised 
the Spaniard to continue trying to make his treaty 
without taking notice of anything else, and, further, to 
notify to the Parhament the conditions he was pro- 
posing, so as to make clear how advantageous they 
were to England. The ambassador foUowed this 
advice, and, further, had his proposais printed, so 
as to make them known in the whole City of London, 
and then ail over the entire Kingdom. Hiring some 
men, he told them to go and distribute thèse pamphlets 
ail over the town. Probably it had ail been arranged 
with the Speaker. Be this as it may, one of thèse men 
having cried the contents of his pamphlets right under 
the Windows of Cromwell's room, the latter listened to 
what he was saying, and, no sooner had he done so, 
than he immediately ordered the arrest of the crier, 
and, after extracting the name of the person who had 
instigated him to do this, had him conveyed to New- 
gate and strangled the next evening without further 
trial. His companions no sooner heard of this than 
they fled in ail directions, and no longer dared sell 
their wares, except in secret. 

The Spanish Ambassador received his own particular 
correction the first time he returned to Whitehall, but 
going, as it were, double or quits, he complained to 
the Parliament of the way the Protector had behaved 
in the matter, and though it was largely composed of 
Cromwell's créatures, there was a party in it which 
began to protest against what was going on. Indeed, 
this agitation went so far that there was a kind of 
rébellion in the City of London, which retarded the 
exécution of the treaty, which the Protector had made 
with his Majesty, and made the Cardinal clearly see 


thathis great schemes were still a long wayoff réalisation. 
He, consequently, determined not to again refuse any 
good match for his nièces on account of imaginary 

The campaign of Flanders having ended after the 
taking of St. Guillain, the King returned to Paris, and 
M. le Cardinal, to keep his Majesty amused whilst he 
filled his purse, gave a magnificent bail, the marriage 
of one of his nièces with the Duc de Modène serving as 
a pretext. The position of his Eminence was now 
more assured than ever, and the King, as it were, 
saw only with his eyes, which was natural enough, 
considering that the Queen-mother perpetually sang 
his praises. She was, nevertheless, much pained at the 
war with Spain, though it was now forty years since 
she had left her country, and did not fail to attempt to 
make the minister conclude a peace, which for his own 
reasons he was unwilling to do, He declared that it 
would be very unwise to draw back now that matters 
were proceeding so well, and, besides, the French 
nation wanted occupation, and the nobility required 
something to do, to that extent that did they not find 
it outside the kingdom they would soon look for it 

The winter having thus passed with many enter- 
tainments, the Cardinal held a great council of war 
in the month of March to know what the King's 
arms in Flanders were to do in the next campaign. 
The siège of Valenciennes had already been decided 
on, and great préparations made for it. The enemy 
had taken measures to oppose us, and it was a question 
whether we ought not to attack Dunkerque instead, 
so as to carry out the conditions of the treaty with 

ME M 01 R s OF D'ARTAGNAN 357 

the Protector. However, Cromwell had more to do 
at home than people thought, and could not conse- 
quently keep his word. The complaints of the Spanish 
Ambassador had aroused the EngUsh people from its 
indifférence, and it appeared so outraged at his having 
looked after his own private interests in préférence 
to those of the pubhc, as never to forgive him for it. 
In short, everyone in England cried out for a war 
with France, instead of approving of the treaty. Ail 
Cromwell had done had been to déclare that he 
understood vvhat he was doing better than the people 
themselves, but they were so much struck by the 
offers of Calais and Boulogne, with which the Spanish 
Ambassador tempted them, as to appear deaf to 
everything else. The Cardinal, therefore, could not 
rely upon the treaty, and, in conséquence of this, 
held the council of war which I hâve mentioned. 
It was there resolved, on the advice of the Maréchal de 
la Ferté and other gênerais, to push on with the 
campaign ; the Vicomte de Turenne alone strongly 
recommending that matters should be thoroughly con- 
sidered before an advance was made. In due course, 
Valenciennes was besieged and the résistance we en- 
countered there was of a very formidable kind. After 
some slight successes, which were due to the cleverness 
of the governor, who was the Comte de Hennin, the 
Prince de Condé, the Comte de Fuensaldagne and 
Don Juan d'Autriche advanced to the attack. Thèse 
three commanders were, indeed, formidable opponents. 
Perceiving that the position held by M. de Turenne 
was defended in a manner which showed that every- 
thing was in order, they turned their attention to the 
lines of the Maréchal de la Ferté, who, impetuously 


declining an offer of assistance made by the Vicomte 
de Turenne, paid dearly for his foUy, for his position was 
easily carried, only our régiment and the régiment of 
marine offering any serions résistance. The Maréchal 
de la Ferté disdained to take refuge in the camp of 
M. de Turenne, and was made prisoner, together with 
three lieutenant-généraux, to wit, MM. les Comtes de 
Gadagne d'Estreés and de Grandpré. Besides this, a 
number of distinguished persons fell on this occasion 
into the hands of the enemy. I was not so particular 
as the maréchal had been, and saved myself by the 
dike. Meanwhile, M. de Turenne, forgetting ail 
rancorous thoughts as to the way in which he had 
been treated, gave orders to the régiments of Rambures 
ind de la Feuil to advance to the attack, but the 
bogginess of the ground caused by the breaking of the 
dike forced them to retreat — the soldiers sinking in 
the mud at every step, and it was ail the gênerai could 
do to keep order amongst his troops. He now sought 
to reassure the army, and displayed the greatest cool- 
ness and composure. 

It is extraordinary why we were not hard pressed 
after our defeat by the enemy, instead of being merely 
harassed by two or three squadrons, which were easily 
kept at bay by the two thousand horse, with which the 
Vicomte de Turenne covered our retreat. Indeed, 
to such an extent were our soldiers overcome by terror 
that the rustle of the smallest leaf aroused them. 
A hare, for instance, chancing to be started under the 
hoofs of the cavalry, the advance guard no sooner 
heard some musket shots, which were fired at this 
poor animal, than they became quite as alarmed as 
if the enemy were already upon them. 


Having learnt that an attack was contemplated upon 
Condé, he sent eight hundred horsemen to that town 
by a circuitous route, each with a sack of corn on his 
horse, for it was but ill-supplied with provisions, and 
was full of fugitives from our army who were starving. 
After depositing the corn, thèse horsemen returned ; 
but it would hâve been better had they stayed in the 
place of the stragglers who filled the city. Condé, 
nevertheless, made a vigorous résistance under the 
lieutenant-général, who was its commander — Passage 
by name, a good soldier, whose only fault was a 
hankering to be thought of a great family. Finally, 
however, it surrendered on honourable terms, and so 
M. de Turenne found himself in a more difficult pass 
than ever. Nevertheless, after a pretended retreat 
towards France, he made direct for la Capelle, which 
he besieged. This city was held by the Comte de 
Chamilly for the Prince de Condé, who hearing of 
its siège, at once sent the son of Chamilly to help his 
father, and to reassure him. He, therefore, in spite of 
having but a small garrison, declined ail proposais for 
surrender, and made a much better résistance than 
might hâve been anticipated. Meanwhile, the Spaniards 
on the urgent appeal of M. le Prince, abandoned 
besieging Saint Guillain and went to the relief of la 
Capelle, but they were much chagrined on the way 
to learn that the city in question had capitulated. 

The whole of France which had deemed itself lost, 
or at least in great danger after the defeat of Valen- 
ciennes, admired the conduct of the Vicomte de 
Turenne, who had set everything right ; indeed, he 
had done a good deal, for, if we had lost Condé, we 
had recaptured la Capelle. For the latter town had 


been captured during our civil wars, and since then we 
had been unable to retake it, though from no laclv of 
wishing to do so. The King came to the camp to 
show his army his satisfaction at what it had done, 
but while he paid us ail thèse compliments, he reserved 
some spécial ones for the Vicomte, who assuredly 
deserved them. His Majesty remained in the camp 
for some days, until a convoy destined for Landrecies 
had been prepared. He selected that route to return 
to France, and our régiment went ahead to reach 
Compiègne, where I was to be quartered. Some time 
afterwards, I returned to the Court where such 
magnificence prevailed, that it was very easy to see 
that it was no longer suffering from the misery which 
had been its lot during the civil war. 



Courtilz, Gatien de, sieiir 
130 de Sandras 

A72C8 Memoirs of Monsieur 

1B99 d'Artagnan